Suspend Me, Part Deux

You wanna make the 7-month “hop” to Mars? We’ve determined ‘tis a far better thing to sleep through the trip than to look out the window. So let’s get practical.

There you are, ready for the Long Dream (hope it’s a good one), looking fine in your futuristic metrosexual undies, trusting your space-mates to take good care. Now what?

Here’s the latest thinking (for real):

First, you get taped up for heart rhythm, blood pressure, oxygen levels, etc.

Next, you get a sedative to knock you out, followed by a lowering of your body temperature to below hyperthermia levels.

Now an intravenous anticoagulant line is inserted, that helps prevent things like blood clots, so you don’t like, die, in your sleep.

You eat via a feeding tube shoved down your throat. Sexy, right? About a thousand calories of slurry per day.

A suite of waste collection tubes and inserts whisks all your unmentionables away (Wait, WHO inserts and adjusts those…?)

And finally -- and this is the surprising part – a helpful crew member or robot wakes you up, Three Weeks Later.

Eh? I thought the trip was seven months! Oh, it is. There’s just no technology currently on the horizon to enable that kind of stasis. Wake up, sleepy head! Time to move around, exercise, help steer the ship and take care of your co-sleepers for a 3-day stint. There’s no free rides, here.

After 72 hours, it’s time to uh, lather and repeat. Strip down, tubes in, drug up, cool and dose another 21 days. For the Mars jump, figure on doing this about eight times. “But I don’t LIKE that tubing going up my…” “Shut up and hold still. You know the drill, ensign!”

Oh, the romance. The adventure. The anticipation. The slurry!

I am so in.


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