Not so long ago, representatives of the European Space Agency (European Space Agency) published two projects, the first of which is the project of hibernation capsules, and the second – the cabins and spaces of a spaceship designed for long flights in outer space. This work was carried out as part of the ESA Concurrent Design Facility program, in which studies are conducted related to the possibility of using the hibernation mode during flights to Mars and other planets of the solar system.
The flight to Mars at the current level of space technology development will take several months, during which astronauts will be in a constant stress state due to extremely cramped conditions and forced idleness. The way out of this situation is the hibernation regimen, a regimen of super deep sleep or a medical coma, which has long been proposed by science fiction writers, in which a person does not need large free space, and his needs for heat and food are reduced to the minimum possible.
In their report, ESA representatives noted that the use of the hibernation mode would allow the use of smaller spacecraft for long-distance flights, which was demonstrated on the basis of the spacecraft’s spacecraft designed to deliver six astronauts to Mars.
In this project, there are separate individual capsules in which all crew members will be during the flight. The project also provides tiny cabins for awake crew members. Using hibernation will reduce the number of food concentrates, the weight of which can be reduced to several kilograms per person.
Hibernation capsules have a soft inner shell that darkens while a person is in it. In addition, the capsules serve to protect a person from cosmic radiation and, possibly, a sleeping place during the time when the astronauts will live in “normal” mode. Some technologies that will be embedded in hibernation capsules will allow people to maintain muscle mass and bone density over time. This will reduce the rehabilitation period after a long stay in hibernation to 21 days according to preliminary estimates.
To maintain the spacecraft in working condition while the crew is in hibernation, automatic systems based on artificial intelligence and other similar technologies will be used.
And in conclusion, it should be noted that before the real possibility of long space missions, more than one decade will pass. But in order for this opportunity to appear in the distant future, we need to start working on it now, which is done by the specialists of the European Space Agency.