SpaceWorks has received funding from NASA to study the possibility of immersion in a state of anabiotic sleep for two weeks of the body of astronauts in future Martian missions.
Mars Exploration Zones
They plan to achieve safe slowing down of life by lowering body temperature to about 5 degrees Celsius. Controlled hypothermia will induce a sleep state in which the metabolism slows down by 50-70%, leading to a decrease in oxygen and other resource consumption. The process is similar to hibernation in bears. To achieve this effect, special pharmaceutical preparations will be used..
Besides the fact that astronauts will shorten the period of their activity from 8 months to several weeks, suspended animation will help to avoid muscle atrophy, better resist radiation and even heal some injuries. Reducing consumption and the number of awake crew will reduce the amount of cargo and equipment carried, reduce living space and the spacecraft itself, which will make the flight more efficient and less costly..
SpaceWorks representatives say that after two weeks of suspended animation, travelers will wake up for several days and then repeat the cycle again until they arrive on Mars. They say that today this is the most likely way of simultaneously moving hundreds of people over such long distances..
However, researchers still have to solve the problem of low gravity, to which the human body does not respond well..
In addition to colonizing new planets, NASA plans to start searching for technical signals of extraterrestrial origin..
text: Ivan Malichenko, photo: SpaceWorks