SCIENCE

NASA Funds Cryogenic Chamber Projects That Will Put Astronauts To Deep Sleep

  • Osvaldo Nunez , Design & Trend Contributor
  • May, 15, 2016, 02:38 PM
Tags : cryogenic, NASA, space
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NASA Cryogenic
(Photo : Getty Images/ Victor Habbick/Visuals Unlimited, Inc.)

NASA is looking to invest in a concept that seems like right out of a Halo video game.

Remember how Halo's Master Chief would sleep in a cryogenic chamber when entering deep space? NASA is looking to make this a reality for their astronauts through their Innoative Advanced Concepts program (NIAC).

According to NASA, eight concepts are to move into developmental stages. NIAC's program will award $500,000 to each concept for two years of study in order to test new technologies. NASA's goal is to create a special habitat that will induce cryosleep for long-duration missions. They also hope for a robotic space habitat that can support itself and grow in lunar orbit.

"The NIAC program is one of the ways NASA engages the U.S. scientific and engineering communities, including agency civil servants, by challenging them to come up with some of the most visionary aerospace concepts," said Steve Jurczyk, an associate administrator of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in a statement. "This year's Phase II fellows have clearly met this challenge."

NASA is also funding projects that will put several outposts in our solar system. Their plan is to have robots build their Growth-Adapted Tensegrity Structures (GATs) in space, and the robots will be able to grow and evolve as necessary.

NASA's plans extend beyond Mars. As such, they will need to find ways to deter the effects of aging during long-duration missions. Through their deep sleep chambers, they hope to combat bone loss and muscle atrophy that happens during deep sleep.

Referring to the projects chosen for advancement, NIAC program executive Jason Derleth said, "Phase II decisions are always challenging, but we were especially challenged this year with so many successful Phase I studies applying to move forward with their cutting-edge technologies."

 "I'm thrilled to welcome these innovations and their innovators back to the program. Hopefully, they will all go on to do what NIAC does best - change the possible," added Derleth. 

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