Very interesting article at CNN. Finally cryo sleep is here. Go to sleep and wake up a thousand years from now in another galaxy. Well maybe not just yet, but this article talks about real research going on that is a step in that future.
This article talks about lowering the human body temperature from 98.6 F to about 93 degrees F and that enables the body to go into an extended sleep. The metabolic processes are slowed down and thus less nourishment is needed, less room to move around and they don’t have to change clothes every day, (Great space saving for those of us that need to keep fashionable in space).
The article mentioned that a three person crew could have two crewmembers asleep for long periods of time while the third monitors everything. Currently they’re talking about two week sleep periods but further research might extent that. After the two week cycle, that crewmembers wakes one of the others up and then they go to sleep. The significant space saving would also allow larger crews.
They also mentioned that by having the sleeping crewmembers under a one G force, they would have less muscle atrophy and by muscle stimulation while sleeping they would wake up in pretty good condition. That’s interesting, I’m trying to come with a practical ship design that would allow a one G environment and I’ll be describing in the next book in my SIMPOC series.
Now if they could just fix those pesky cells that tend to pop when frozen, maybe we’ll get to suspended animation for really long trips. Maybe we’ll call them Popsiclenauts