NASA Entertains Deep Sleep Idea Trip to Mars



Imagine being in stasis or deep sleep, for six months while traveling to Mars.

NASA has been looking for a cost effective way to send man up to Mars, and they may have just found their solution. In a recent NASA backed study, they explored the possibility of putting the crew in a deep sleep. The deep sleep, called torpor, would reduce astronauts’ metabolic functions with existing medical procedures.

Interestingly enough, torpor is a therapeutic and has been around in theory since the mid 1980’s. Generally a patients max time has been only a week in torpor or deep sleep. NASA would have to test how the functionality would work keeping someone in deep sleep for 90-180 days.

Ultimately if this idea was to work, a large ship wouldn’t be necessary along with fewer amenities.

SpaceWorks’ study, which is a NASA funded project, shows a five-fold reduction in the amount of pressurized volume needed for a crew in deep sleep, and a three-fold reduction in the total amount of mass required, including consumables like food and water.

So the idea makes sense, I’m just not sure how comfortable I’d be with knowing I’d be knocked out for six months at a time.

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