SpaceWorks is working on sleeper pods for space travel
The new pods will see space travellers hibernate, bringing science fiction movies such as Interstellar and the recent Passengers movie, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, to reality.
As humanity gears up to colonise other planets the sleeper pods will help with the extremely long journeys.
Mars, which is the closest planet to Earth and the top of the interplanetary travel destinations, will take six months to travel to with current technology.
Pluto, on the edge of the solar system, took nine and a half years to reach in the fastest, unmanned, spacecraft.
Mars is likely to be the first planet that is colonised
By lowering the average body temperature (37 degrees celsius) to around 32 degrees celsius, the heart rate and blood pressure are also lowered, inducing a state of sleep.
Medical professionals already use the tactic to treat sufferers of cardiac arrest and heart failure so that they have more time to asses the damage.
It will take six months to reach
The patients usually stay in a comatose state for up to four days, but Spaceworks – the firm developing the pods using a method it calls “therapeutic hypothermia” – believes that it could make the state last for months.
John A. Bradford, president of Spaceworks, told Quartz: “Our goal is to get from days and weeks to months.”
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Describing the pods, he said: “There would be some robotic arms and monitoring systems taking care of [the passengers].
“They’d have small transnasal tubes for the cooling and some warming systems as well, to bring them back from stasis.”
Spaceworks says that it will begin testing the pods on animals as early as next year with human testing to follow in space and aboard the International Space Station.