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Asleep for 14 Days: NASA Developing Cryosleep Chamber for Distant Travel

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NASA logo. - Sputnik International
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Scientists at NASA will spend a half a million dollars to build a “hibernation chamber” that will allow space travelers to sleep for up to 14 days.

NASA is working with a firm called SpaceWorks to pioneer a “cryosleep” system for the agency’s Innovative Advanced Concepts Program.

A contrail is seen behind the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon supply ship as it flies into space after lifting off from the launch pad on a resupply mission to the International Space Station September 21, 2014 in Cape Canaveral, Florida - Sputnik International
SpaceX Dragon Cargo Ship Delivers Critical Science Samples to Earth - NASA

"The idea of suspended animation for interstellar human spaceflight has often been posited as a promising far-term solution for long-duration spaceflight," Doctor John Bradford, CEO of the firm, told the Mirror.

Details for the hibernation chamber involve using cold temperatures to induce a state of hypothermia for up to two weeks. Bodies would be monitored via sensors, receiving nutrition through intravenous drip. A catheter would release urine.

"Medical progress is quickly advancing our ability to induce deep sleep states with significantly reduced metabolic rates for humans over extended periods of time," SpaceWorks wrote of their plan.

Similar technology is currently used to avoid brain damage with people in cardiac arrest, as well as those who have suffered spinal cord injuries.

"NASA should leverage these advancements for spaceflight as they can potentially eliminate a number of very challenging technical hurdles and ultimately enable feasible and sustainable missions to Mars."

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