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20th Apr 2015

Interstellar-style space hibernation for humans could be a reality

Deep sleep...

Ben Kenyon

Science fiction could become science fact in our lifetimes.

Remember the part on Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film where the astronauts are put in a ‘deep sleep’?

Well, scientists are working on this for real to one day make deep space travel possible.

If humans are ever going to get to Mars – or beyond – we need to crack the science of the hibernation-like state.

friends animated GIF

This would mean a cut in food and water needed on the spacecraft, a reduction in waste and fewer psychological problems with the astronauts.

Leopold Summerer, head of the advanced concepts team at the European Space Agency, said research was being done that could put “some science fiction into the realm of science reality” in our lifetimes.

Scientists are studying the animal kingdom to unlock the secrets of hibernation and are now studying whether astronauts can be kept in  sleep-like state for days or weeks by dropping their body temperatures.

The possibilities are endless – perhaps scientists could hibernate us through the next series of Britain’s Got Talent.

Wake us up when it’s over.

(H/T Independent)