Cryogenic Sleep For Space Travel

Why we (might) need cryogenic sleep

Cryogenic sleep: pros and cons

But what are the pros of cryogenic sleep for space travel?

  • First of all, astronauts would be able to travel for months without noticing it. Mental health is indeed a problem when having to spend so much time locked inside a very small space with other individuals.
  • Additionally, they would need way less food and water. By carrying less cargo, the ship would use less fuel.
  • The cryosleep chambers could protect astronauts more efficiently from harmful cosmic radiation. While on Earth, its atmosphere and magnetic shield protect us. In space, astronauts are exposed to radiation.
  • The chambers could have an artificial Earth-like gravitational force that would keep astronauts’ bodies in shape. In fact, because of the lack of gravity, astronauts have to fight against muscle atrophy or bone degeneration by exercising on average two hours per day. The technology necessary to produce artificial gravity in a space as wide as a spacecraft would be extremely complex and expensive. On the other hand, cryosleep chambers are small in size and studies are underway to make gravity possible inside them.
  • Finally, cryosleep (compared to cryopreservation) can be reverted relatively easily, by simply bringing the body back to its normal temperature, without damage to the body.

What are the cons instead?

  • The first one is that this technique hasn’t been successfully perfected yet.
  • Secondly, hibernation doesn’t completely stop aging. The metabolic reduction achieved through the use of low temperatures slows down the aging process. With advanced technology, aging could be significantly slowed down, maybe even for centuries. Yet, cryosleep alone will unfortunately not allow us to travel to the Andromeda Galaxy.

Cryopreservation for space travel

Current cryosleep research

Conclusion

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Tomorrow Biostasis GmbH

Tomorrow Biostasis GmbH

We are a Berlin based longevity company committed to advancing Biostasis technology and promoting it in a simple and transparent way. www.tomorrowbiostasis.com