NASA is trying to figure out a way to cut the cost of a human expedition to Mars. One way would be to put the astronauts into a deep sleep, or “torpor” to reduce their metabolic functions. If knocked out, they wouldn’t need as much water, food, clothing and exercise. They could travel in smaller ships. In a torpor or stasis state, “a crew could be put in hibernation for the transit time to Mars, which under the best-case scenario would take 180 days one-way.”
“Therapeutic torpor” is most commonly used for critical care trauma patients in hospitals. Torpor is induced on patients to keep hypothermia patients alive until they can get the kind of treatment they need. So far, the longest time a patient has been in a torpor state is about one week. That’s not to say it can’t be done. There just was never a need for it.
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