The Bed and Sleep Blog at BedKing
HOME  |  Archives  |  BedKing Website  |  Contact Us

NASA crew to sleep for six months

October 24, 2014


NASA crew to sleep for six months

For years science fiction has been intrigued by space travel and specifically by colonising Mars. As humans travelling into space on journeys of discovery are becoming a reality, colonising the red planet is no longer just the stuff of dreams. The race to get humans to Mars has started, and NASA is finding innovative ways to take the next giant leap for mankind. The first step is by conducting studies on sending astronauts into a deep sleep, or stasis, on journeys to Mars.

Sending astronauts to sleep during a journey would dramatically reduce the infrastructure needed for such a mission to Mars. It could cut the supplies and equipment required on-board down from 400 tons to 220 tons. John Bradford, president of SpaceWorks Enterprises believes a typical Mars mission will involve a six month journey to the planet with NASA’s target for landing humans on Mars being 2035.

The study into deep sleep, or torpor, began a year ago, and Bradford believes the existing medical technique called therapeutic or protective hypothermia “could be adopted for space flight.” In fact, he thinks it is unlikely that humans could go to Mars without this technology. It is currently used in hospitals, but for much shorter periods of time – the longest torpor yet induced was only 14 days long. It lowers the body temperature of a patient and can reduce the risk of tissue injury in certain situations.

A tube would be inserted into an astronaut’s nasal cavity to emit a cooled gas, lowering the astronaut’s body temperature by 10 degrees. Low-dose drugs will ease shivers and the space explorer’s passage into a deep sleep. Astronauts will be fed intravenously with nutrients such as carbohydrates, amino acids and lipids while they sleep.

So with astronauts looking forward to a six-month’s snooze, if you feel like you need to catch up on some sleep, it might be time to sign up for a mission to Mars!

Want a more comfortable sleeping experience?

Image Source: Mars from hubble telescope from Wikimedia


Latest Posts:
 
The Fascinating Forces that Drive Your Sleep/Wake Cycle
» The Fascinating Forces that Drive Your Sleep/Wake Cycle Have you ever wondered how we are able to stay awake for up to 16 hours per day, and then go to bed where we remain asleep for up to 8 hours at a stretch? Isn’t it a little odd that our bodies can group together periods of sleepiness and wakefulness in this very convenient fashion, instead of ...
Sleeping Disorders: The Concise Guide to Bruxism
» Sleeping Disorders: The Concise Guide to Bruxism The Bed King team of bed supply specialists often provide advice on proper sleeping surfaces for individuals who deal with sleeping disorders. In previous articles we discussed insomnia, sleep apnea restless leg syndrome, and hypersomnia; today we discuss sleep bruxism - also known as nighttime teet...
Sleeping Disorders: The Concise Guide to Hypersomnia
» Sleeping Disorders: The Concise Guide to Hypersomnia The Bed King team of bed supply specialists often provide advice on proper sleeping surfaces for individuals who deal with sleeping disorders. In previous articles we discussed insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome; today we discuss hypersomnia - excessive daytime sleepiness that is not li...
Copyright © 2009 The Bed King