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Why hibernation in space may not be possible for humans after all

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Sending humans virtually anywhere in space beyond the Moon pushes logistics of health, food, and psychology to limits we're only just beginning to grasp.  

A staple solution to these problems in science fiction is to simply put the void-travelers to bed for a while. In a sleep-like state akin to hibernation or torpor, metabolism drops, and the mind is spared the boredom of waiting out endless empty hours.

Unlike faster-than-light travel and wormholes, the premise of putting astronauts into a form of hibernation feels like it's within grasp. Enough so that even the European Space Agency is seriously looking into the science behind it.

Implications of a new study by a trio of researchers from Chile now reveal a mathematical hurdle to turning the potential of long-term human stasis into reality, one that might mean it's as forever beyond our reach.



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