Sunday, October 5, 2014

#NASA plans to send astronauts to #Mars in deep sleep conditions

A NASA—backed study is exploring the feasibility of lowering the cost of a human expedition to Mars by putting the astronauts in deep sleep. The deep sleep, called torpor, would reduce astronauts’ metabolic functions with existing medical procedures.

“We haven’t had the need to keep someone in (therapeutic torpor) for longer than seven days,” said aerospace engineer Mark Schaffer with SpaceWorks Enterprises in Atlanta. “For human Mars missions, we need to push that to 90 days, 180 days. Those are the types of mission flight times we’re talking about.” SpaceWorks proposes the design of a torpor-inducing Mars transfer habitat and an architectural-level assessment to fully characterize the impact to Mars exploration.