[ExI] Hibernation for human space travel not possible

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Sat Apr 30 13:08:09 UTC 2022

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of BillK via extropy-chat
Subject: [ExI] Hibernation for human space travel not possible

>...A new hibernation study is bad news for future space travelers Hibernating animals could help us understand how long astronauts could last in space.
Tara Yarlagadda   4.28.2022



“Humans are simply too large, so the benefits of hibernation are little — as in bears — if we think just on energy savings,” Nespolo says.

BillK if you watch a bear in the wild, you notice her movement is very leisurely most of the time, lumbering about looking for stuff to eat.  That's pretty much all they do while the sun is warm.  When the winter comes, they hole up in their den, muscle movement goes from minimal to nearly nothing, body temperature drops.  While the sun shines, the bear maintains a temperature delta with warm surroundings.  It gets cold in the den, the bear's body temperature drops, a delta is maintained.  

The bat flits about constantly, burning a lot of energy during the waking period. 

The comparison between bats and bears needs to be clarified in the study.

>...So humans might as well stay awake during long space trips. But they will have to find some method of avoiding years of boredom during longer journeys. With the radiation problem and no-gravity fitness problem as well, it really does look as though better AI-controlled robots are going to have to do the exploration for humans.  BillK


Ja I agree with the premise: with current technology humans are ill-suited for even a Mars trip, never mind the stuff farther out.

Regarding hibernation: humans can be fed with an IV or stomach tube and the temperature in the hibernation chamber can be maintained at any level, options the bear does not have.

Regarding boredom, which is really a more relevant observation: the space traveler is stuck in a small space for long periods.  Look what we have done to ourselves in the past 4 decades in terms of that box you are staring at right now.  Remember what you had in 1982?  I do.  It had 40 columns of text.  Terrible resolution (but we didn't know that at the time), no graphics (graphics?  What's that?) no internet (what's internet?) no content if you weren't into math stuff such as optimizing Lucas Lehmer testing (hey cool, Lucas Lehmer, sexy!) and such as that.  I was into that hardcore math geek stuff back then, so I am one of the lucky ones.  That box did almost nothing for most people as recently as 4 decades ago.  Really it was exactly nothing back then for a lot of people.  

Now that box contains so much and does so much that plenty of otherwise healthy humans freely choose an environment and lifestyle similar to what a space traveler would face.  So...Never mind the hibernation.  Just choose for astronauts not the athletes, choose among the flaccid internet vegetables.  They would scarcely notice the difference if you take them out of their room and park their flabby butts in a tiny spacecraft.


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