Six astronauts lie motionless in a row of compartments with medical monitoring cables connected to their bodies, as their space ship cuts through the silent blackness that separates Earth from Mars.Can I just say, wow, cool?
They're sound asleep and will be for the extent of their six-month trip, having been placed in an artificially induced state of hibernation called torpor.
This is the way a NASA-funded study sees space explorers traveling to Mars -- unconscious, with their metabolism switched into slow motion.
Sending astronauts that far into space would be too challenging, costly and grueling without it, says space engineer John Bradford, whose Atlanta-based company SpaceWorks wrote the study for NASA.
"Ultimately, it's what we'll have to do," he says.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Science fiction becoming reality
Sleeper spaceship could carry first humans to Mars in hibernation state