How the police will investigate crimes committed in space

In the next few years, the United States is going to return people to the Moon. After this, the NASA aerospace agency has plans to create a permanent lunar station – it will allow astronauts to fly to Mars. At the same time, many private companies are making big strides towards sending tourists into space. In general, in the future, people will find themselves outside our planet more often. So far there have been no such cases, but it is likely that crimes will be committed in space. Of course, astronauts are screened for psychological problems, but space tourists are not screened as thoroughly. In addition, people can still be unpredictable and cruel to others. Scientists are already preparing to investigate crimes in space.

How the police will investigate crimes committed in space. In the future there will be more people in space, so crimes are not excluded. Photo.

In the future there will be more people in space, so crimes are possible

Crimes in space

According to forensic science professor Graham Williams, experts in the field of astroforensics will be involved in solving crimes in space. Today, this discipline is in its infancy – studying evidence in space will look completely different than on Earth. And all because gravity in space is not so strong. There is also a lot of cosmic radiation, which can also affect the evidence.

Crimes in space. Astro-forensics is one of the youngest fields of activity. Photo.

Astro-forensics is one of the youngest fields of activity

Of course, there will likely be thefts during space travel. But this kind of crime is not particularly serious – cases of murder will require a much more detailed investigation. In the event of an attack on people, drops of blood usually fly to the ground, which are one of the main clues. Based on the location and shape of blood stains, criminologists can tell exactly how and with what the victim was hit, at what time, and so on.

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New experiment in zero gravity

But, as mentioned above, there is no strong gravity in space. Therefore, blood in such a space will behave completely differently than on Earth. Recently, scientists decided to conduct a study to analyze the structure of bloodstains in space. The results of the scientific work were published in the scientific journal Forensic Science International: Reports.

During the experiment, scientists boarded an airplane that is capable of recreating low-gravity conditions. To put it simply, during the flight it simply begins an uncontrolled fall, and passengers have about 20 seconds to feel weightless.

A new experiment in zero gravity. Zero gravity conditions can be recreated inside an airplane. Photo.

Zero gravity conditions can be recreated inside an airplane

As part of the study, scientists drew artificial blood into a syringe, which imitates real blood in all its properties. In particular, this liquid has the same physical properties of viscosity and surface tension. During the free flight, the “blood” was squeezed onto a white sheet of paper measuring 20 by 20 centimeters. This does not look like a reconstruction of a real crime, but as part of their scientific work, scientists were interested in how blood would fall on paper in space conditions.

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Investigating crimes in space

As expected, there was a big difference between the blood stains on Earth and in space. On Earth, blood falls downward under the influence of gravity until it reaches the surface. In low gravity conditions, the liquid took longer to move in a straight line and reached the sheet of paper without much downward deflection.

When a drop of blood falls down in terrestrial conditions, it breaks on the surface and forms a small wave – after which a stain shape is formed. Usually the spot is very large. In low gravity conditions, blood stains appear to be small.

Investigation of crimes in space. Blood on the Moon behaves completely differently than on Earth. Photo.

Blood on the Moon behaves completely differently than on Earth

The experiment carried out can be considered the first in the field of astro-forensics. He clearly proved that blood stains in space are formed completely differently than on Earth. Of course, such knowledge alone will not help solve crimes in space, so scientists need to do more scientific work. There is plenty of time for this – there is hope that we will not hear the news about the first crime in space soon.

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If you look into the distant future, perhaps there will even be space policemen in the world. Despite the fact that it sounds like something out of science fiction, everything really goes in this direction. Or maybe artificial intelligence will be involved in solving crimes – neural networks regularly surprise us with their skills. For example, in 2022 we talked about a system that predicts crimes with 90% accuracy.