Scientists from the Institute of Integrative Biology and the Pontifical University, after conducting a study, came to the conclusion that “hibernation” will not help people carry out long-term space flights to explore new planets. This was reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.
Hibernation is a state of minimal activity and metabolic depression undergone by some animal species. Hibernation is a seasonal heterothermy characterized by low body-temperature, slow breathing and heart-rate, and low metabolic rate. It most commonly occurs during winter months.
The duration of space flights for the colonization of distant planets can be one and a half centuries. To implement such projects, people need to use hibernation – the maximum slowdown of life processes.
Scientists decided to check how much energy mammals spend during “hibernation”.
It turned out that everything depends on the size of the animal. In humans, during hibernation, energy savings will tend to zero. Astronauts without “hibernation” simply will not be able to fly to distant planets, since they are unlikely to live 120-150 years.
During experiments, experts found that a small opossum saves 76% of energy during “hibernation”. For bears weighing 200 kg, this figure is minus 124%.
According to the assumptions of scientists, a person will not be able to save energy during the hibernation period and carry out a long space flight.
It will be necessary to look for other ways to travel into deep space.