One of the most effective ways to pass the timetime during a long space odyssey is hibernation - a method that can significantly reduce the mass and quantity of consumables of a spacecraft. The idea that astronauts can wait out for a space flight in a dream has long been one of the main plot moves of science fiction of the 20th century. Having decided to let the future astronauts sleep for the benefit of scientific progress, the European Space Agency decided to check how exactly the hibernation of astronauts will affect the space missions of the future.
Is hibernation harmful?
Perhaps the prospect of going crazy is limitedspace spaceship can seduce only the most desperate traveler. As many previous experiments have shown, closed space, a limited circle of communication and food negatively affect the physical and mental health of volunteers who were directly involved in similar social experiments.
Technology that allows people to actually run intowhile hibernating, like bears and other mammals, it is still in its infancy, but this did not prevent the ESA from studying exactly how hibernation can affect the space mission as a whole. According to the portal newatlas.com, researchers from the European Space Agency worked on adjusting the architecture of the spacecraft, its energy consumption and radiation protection, based on calculations consistent with the possibility of astronauts plunging into a long sleep.
See also: Anabiosis in space: is it possible to immerse a person in hibernation?
Hibernation, according to ESA, suggestsgaining a certain body weight by an astronaut before he is placed in a separate sleeping capsule, which after awakening the astronaut will be used as a living room. A hypothetical drug administered intravenously over the course of a flight would help the space traveler fall into a stupor similar to hibernating mammals.
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Meanwhile, soft-shell capsules willmaintain a dark, cool environment to keep the crew hibernated during a 180-day trip to Mars and back. Immediately after awakening, the astronauts will be waiting for the 21-day phase of restoration of bones and muscle mass, which may slightly atrophy during a long period of non-use. Although ESA claims that the danger of losing large amounts of muscle mass will not be critical, space travelers will be exposed to cosmic radiation throughout the flight, whose effects on the human body may not be the most pleasant. In order to maximally protect the health of future Mars colonizers, it is planned to surround hibernation capsules with special water tanks, together with other durable materials.
So that the crew does not inadvertently fly intodreaming past Mars, the ship will need artificial intelligence to launch systems to awaken the astronauts. The most promising system in this regard may be artificial intelligence such as Hal 9000, which will help carry out maintenance operations on the spacecraft during hibernation and team recovery.