Updated 12:17 AM EDT, Sun, Apr 18, 2021

Mission to Mars News: NASA Introduces 'Deep Sleep' Theory To Cut Costs for Manned Expedition to the Red Planet

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The notion of ‘space sleep’ has been around now for some time, coming up in a wide variety of forms in science fiction films and television shows. The notion of being asleep for immensely long periods of time has always been a fascinating thought for viewers. As real or fake as the on-screen portrayals have been, NASA is now heavily considering using ‘therapeutic torpor’ as a way to cut costs and have more room for other essential materials on board.

The supposed theory is that the astronauts could be put to sleep for the 180-day journey to the red planet of Mars. Logistically speaking there is no real reason why an astronaut would need to be awake for the journey in the first place. There are 350 million miles in between planet Earth and Mars, so the active astronauts would plausibly be pretty bored.

By putting the astronauts in hibernation, the amount of food intake they require is half of what it would regularly be. A 50 percent reduction in storage and weight is a huge element that could help make a manned mission to Mars a coming reality.

Dr. Mark Schaffer of SpaceWorks Enterprises suggested that the space community begin using this technique while planning for future missions. The announcement was made to the International Astronomical Congress in Toronto. Following his assertion, Schaffer backed up his theory by crunching numbers and diving into the actual technique that would be used to put the astronauts to sleep.

“Therapeutic torpor has been around, in theory, since the 1980s and really since 2003 it has been a staple for critical care trauma patients in hospitals,” said Dr. Schaffer. ‘We haven’t had the need to keep someone in [therapeutic torpor] for longer than seven days.

By having the astronauts in hibernation it is estimated that the size of the space ship could be reduced by three times. When there are billions of dollars in costs at stake, this is a highly essential element to any proposed mission. Along side the space of the craft, the weight is also a big deal. By cutting down the food that the astronauts would not be eating the overall mass would be reduced from 400 tons to 220 tons, which once again would be a huge step in the mission to Mars.

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