Dreaming of Mars: How Astronauts Could Hibernate On Long Voyage
2013-09-05 0:00

Red Ice Creations

There are ambitious projects to get humans on Mars largely driven by entrepreneurs with private and corporate investment. Companies such as Space X and Mars One are speeding towards the goal of colonizing the red planet.

NASA, currently lagging behind such ventures, is attempting to catch up by revolutionizing technology to make the challenge of human space travel less difficult and arduous so that humans might one day literally dream their way to Mars.

Space.com explains:

Incredible Technology: How Astronauts Could Hibernate On Mars Voyage
By Mike Wall | SPACE

By the time humanity is ready to put boots on Mars, the long cruise to the Red Planet may be as easy as a dream.

NASA-funded scientists are investigating ways to induce a hibernation state in astronauts. The work could help bring manned Mars missions closer to reality by making the journey to the Red Planet cheaper, safer and less taxing for crewmembers both psychologically and emotionally, researchers said.

"Every year, it’s, ’We’re going to go to Mars in 20 or 30 years,’" said project principal investigator John Bradford, of SpaceWorks Engineering in Atlanta. "We plan to help stop that slide. This, we feel like, addresses a number of the key challenges, and maybe we can eliminate some of the technology requirements in multiple areas."

Reducing cost and risks

It takes six to nine months to get to Mars using traditional propulsion technology. Keeping astronauts happy and healthy for such long stretches in deep space would be no small feat, requiring lots of food, water and other consumables, as well as relatively large living spaces that include a kitchen, sleeping quarters and exercise equipment (to mitigate bone loss, muscle atrophy and other hazards of microgravity).

But when astronauts eventually take the trip, it would be significantly cheaper and safer for them to hibernate through the vast majority of it, like bears waiting out the winter, Bradford said. A Mars-bound spacecraft could be much lighter and leaner, for example, or more capable in certain vital areas.

"With these mass savings, we think we can just reduce the cost, or use them to add margin to the system," Bradford told SPACE.com.

"One area would be in radiation shielding," he said. Astronauts "will almost always be contained in one spot. You could significantly increase the radiation shielding over this small area and reduce the dosage they’re taking over the mission."

Hibernation would also lessen the psychological stress of the journey, he added. The astronauts would still be cooped up in a tiny space millions of miles from home for months at a time, but they wouldn’t know it until they were awakened.

Further, the strategy could lessen the need for technological breakthroughs in other areas, Bradford said. Life-support systems would not have to carry such a heavy load, for example. And with enhanced shielding around hibernating astronauts, developing a superfast new propulsion system such as nuclear fusion rockets — which NASA officials have said is a key priority to keep astronauts’ radiation doses down on long flights — may not be necessary.


Read the full article at: space.com

Related Articles
Mars One says 80,000 have applied for one-way mission to red planet
Life on earth ’began on Mars’
One Way Astronaut - Mission To Mars
NASA: Mars Manned Mission Will Never Happen
Mars Explorers Face Huge Radiation Problem
Wanted: People willing to die on Mars
SpaceX capsule docks at space station, opens new era
SpaceX’s Private Spaceship Milestone Caps Big Week for Billionaire Elon Musk

Latest News from our Front Page

German Schoolchildren will Cook and Clean for “Refugees” as Part of Work Experience
2015-10-13 0:44
Schoolchildren from an undisclosed school in the city of Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, will spend a week doing housework for so-called “refugees”. Unknown Object. The idea was sold to parents at a parents’ meeting as a “practical internship“, but has sparked outrage online. A letter to the parents said their children will be going to “refugee” accommodations and will be making beds, sorting clothes, and ...
MTV: Saying "No Can Do" Or "Long Time No See" Is Racist
2015-10-12 23:04
Harmless terms have offensive origins, asserts Franchesca Ramsey According to MTV News, using the phrases “long time no see,” “peanut gallery” and “no can do” is offensive because the terms have “racist beginnings.” Host Franchesca Ramsey begins by claiming that the term “peanut gallery” is offensive because it was once the place where black people were “forced” to sit at the theater ...
Migrants Dump Garbage from Their Balconies at German Asylum Center
2015-10-12 23:35
German authorities expect up to 1.5 million asylum seekers to arrive in Germany this year – up from 750,000 last month. So they can expect more of this– Migrants Dump Garbage from their Balconies : Augsburg Asylum Center, Germany In a recent poll, the number of “frightened” Germans jumped from 38% to 51% in three weeks. Muslim Statistics reported, via Religion of Peace: The latest ...
US Paradrops 50 Tons Of Ammo To Syrian Rebels
2015-10-12 22:32
As we noted over the weekend, the US has now thrown in the towel on the ill-fated (and that’s putting it lightly) strategy of training Syrian fighters and sending them into battle only to be captured and killed by other Syrian fighters who the US also trained.  The Pentagon’s effort to recruit 5,400 properly “vetted” anti-ISIS rebels by the end of ...
Migrant Crisis stand-up routine - Sam Hyde
2015-10-10 18:07
YouTube description: "Migrant" "Crisis" AKA Muslim Road Trip. Hundreds of thousands of astronauts, doctors, sciencemen, and peaceful clock inventors descend upon the countries with the most collective guilt and free stuff. This was pretty good man... I wasn't expecting this reaction from the same Boston college audience who so thoroughly disapproved of my 'Mike Brown' routine. I think the invasion of ...
More News »