[ExI] Hibernation for human space travel not possible

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sat Apr 30 13:13:03 UTC 2022

On Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 8:05 AM BillK via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> 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
> <https://www.inverse.com/science/hibernation-study-astronauts-space-travel
> >
> Quotes:
> What’s new — In the new study, scientists reached two surprising
> conclusions about how hibernating animals save energy.
> First: Smaller hibernating mammals tend to save, on average, far more
> energy compared to larger animals. For example, the tiny, 45-gram
> marsupial known as monito del monte — which could fit in the palm of
> your hand — saves 76 percent of its energy during hibernation compared
> to its usual active state.
> On the other hand, a 400-pound grizzly bear actually has negative
> energy savings of 124 percent. In other words: Most larger bears are
> not saving energy during hibernation, but losing it.
> -----------
> This brings us back to long-term space travel and its limitations. As
> the study implies, artificially-induced hibernation in humans, such as
> in the hypothetical astronaut scenario, probably doesn’t save more
> energy versus regular sleep.
> “Humans are simply too large, so the benefits of hibernation are
> little — as in bears — if we think just on energy savings,” Nespolo
> says.
> ----------------------
> 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.

This short story lays out a nice alternative for human space travel:

I won't ruin the surprise for those who want to read it

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