Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

SpaceWorks Believes Cryogenic Sleep Holds the Key to Space Travel

Posted in Science on 28th Aug, 2015 11:37 PM by AlexMuller

Our bodies require too much maintenance to speed through the stars. We need a steady supply of those things absent from space; namely water, food and oxygen. We crave warmth but won’t find it in deep space, where the average temperature is minus 455 degrees Fahrenheit.

Even if we could survive in an icy vacuum without sustenance, we’d probably go insane without distractions and room to move. In 2013, participants in a 17-month Russian spaceflight simulation became depressed and lethargic in the cramped quarters. They grew desperate for privacy and often skipped exercises that would be crucial during a real spaceflight.
Ensuring space travelers stay healthy and active during long flights is a puzzle with two pieces: cargo and weight. Food, water, exercise equipment and televisions are heavy. Fuel is expensive and volatile. The more weight you’re bringing into space, the more fuel you need. But aeronautic engineers believe they have found the key to solving that puzzle: put your space travelers to sleep.
While it seems like the most speculative sort of science fiction, these imagined spaceship stasis chambers may become working reality in the next three decades. According to a NASA-funded study, keeping astronauts unconscious almost halves the haul of any given trip. When a crew is placed in an inactive state, many of the ship’s subsystems can be removed and the space and equipment needed for humans significantly cut down. The negative psychological and social aspects of prolonged space travel could be mitigated, too.
Currently, 14 days is the longest a human being has been recorded surviving in stasis. To just get to the red planet, our closest celestial neighbor besides the moon, astronauts would need to be under for ten times as long. With our present rocket technology, it takes between six and nine months to travel the 55 million kilometers between Earth and Mars.
Drawing from emerging technology and centuries-old medical techniques, engineers are looking to keep people unconscious for weeks at a time. But while studies have been encouraging, hypernative and cryogenic sleep keep getting interrupted. Initially promising research has hit dead ends and money for continuing research has been elusive despite media and popular interest in unconscious astronauts. One company thinks they’ve cracked the problem.
Since 2013, Atlanta-based aerospace engineering firm SpaceWorks has been exploring the possibility of keeping space travelers in a hibernation-like state. That year, they received one of 12 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) grants to pursue Phase 1 of their “Torpor Inducing Transfer Habitat For Human Stasis To Mars” project.
SpaceWorks believes a common medical procedure is the key to sending people into the furthest reaches of space. “The nearest equivalent to hibernation currently experienced by humans is a medical condition called therapeutic hypothermia,” SpaceWorks researcher Doug Talk said.
Therapeutic hypothermia, used to treat cardiac arrest and babies born with certain birth defects, reduces body temperature by about 10 degrees through methods ranging from ice packs and cooling blankets to catheters. SpaceWorks believes they can use therapeutic hypothermia to put human beings into torpor, the long hibernative state bears enter to endure long winters. Once in torpor, the subjects can be transported through space.
Cold is at the heart of stasis. Cold slows the functioning of internal organs, dialing down the speed of the heart and metabolic systems. You need less sustenance and take up less space than a conscious person. And since you’re unconscious, there’s no risk of cabin fever.
Engineers being engineers, the SpaceWorks team has acknowledged that their plan sounds like science fiction.

Tags: spaceNASAhypothermiahuman spaceflightMarsCryogenic Sleep

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-08-29
This is more reasonable idea than people acknowledge - why not explore therapeutic hypothermia further and make it suitable for space travel, it could work
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-08-29
I agree, many animals solved this to some degree and undergo hibernation Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-23 01:38:21
    UCLA engineer develops 3D printer that can create more
    Posted in Business on 2018-05-23 01:43:09
    China Launches Satellite Bound for the Far Side of the more
    Posted in Business on 2018-05-21 16:28:10
    Anti-nuclear policies increased global carbon by more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-21 16:22:31
    Magic mushroom treatment improves emotional more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-21 16:18:57
    Antioxidant found to wind back the clock on blood more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me