Human Hibernation for Long-duration Space Missions
T. Tahir. (2021), JBIS, 74, pp.97-100
Suspending biological processes through hibernation allows endotherms to survive during periods of extreme environmental variation, a vital adaptation for when resources are scarce. A multitude of research has been undertaken on inducing hibernation in non-hibernating species and two main techniques have been identified. During space travel, hibernation can be beneficial, leading to a reduction in metabolic requirements and therefore, a decrease in food intake, oxygen consumption and waste generation. This review will aim to summarise the recent research into hibernation methods, focussing on the implications of human hibernation on the crew, and equipment. It will highlight the challenges that may need to be overcome and discuss the feasibility of doing so in the present day.