As NASA ramps up research efforts to one day send a manned crew to Mars, putting the spaceflight crew in stasis would allow for better mission logistical support. The use of therapeutic torpor has occurred for up to one week, but would require intravenous feeding as a one-way trip to Mars could take more than 180 days, researchers note.
"We haven't had the need to keep someone in (therapeutic torpor) for longer than seven days," said Mark Schaffer, aerospace engineer for SpaceWorks Enterprises. "For human Mars missions, we need to push that to 90 days, 180 days. Those are the types of mission flight times we're talking about."
Using stasis allows mission planners to cut supply requirements down from 400 tons to around 220 tons, with less consumables such as food and water needed.