Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I have a standard axiom: all governments lie. Don't believe anything they say. And corporations are only kinds of government."
- Frank Herbert

Cold-Sleep  
  A form of induced suspended animation, in which a person enters a state like hibernation.  

This is a very early reference to this idea as a way to travel between the stars. It is a seminal concept; most stories of space travel beyond the moon or mars make use of this idea.

People have probably been fascinated with the idea of hibernation-like states for millennia; recent research on a variety of animals (including amphibians as well as mammals) provides interesting benefits in the areas of sleep disturbance in humans.

During the first week out the senior surgeon announced that any who wished could avail themselves of cold-sleep. Within a day or two the bunkroom was half deserted, the missing passengers having been drugged and chilled and stowed in sleep tanks aft, there to dream away the long weeks ahead.
From Between Planets, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1951
Additional resources -

I've been able to confirm that this term appears earlier, in the 1941 version of Heinlein's Methuselah's Children; here's the quote:

They put up with it only long enough to rig for cold-sleep... Somnolents require only about one percent the living room required by active, functioning humans...

Biomechanicians have worked out complex empirical formulas describing body deterioration and the measures that must be taken to offset under various conditions of impressed acceleration, ambient temperature, drugs used, and other factors such as metabolic age, body mass, sex and so on...

There were a number of earlier mentions of the idea of freezing a person for a journey through time. For example, in Louis Boussenard's Dix mille ans dans un bloc de glace (1889; translated as 10,000 Years in a Block of Ice, 1898), the "deep sleep" actually resembled a primitive form of cryonic suspension. H.G. Wells created the first machine for suspended animation, in When the Sleeper Awakes (1898), to freeze his travelers time travel. Philip Francis Nowlan sends Buck Rogers to the 25th century in "Armageddon 2419" (Amazing, 1928) by putting him in a frozen or suspended state. (See Time Travel Literature by John L. Flynn for more details.

The essential problem solved by cold sleep is that of consumables; there is no way to carry (or launch) enough for the length of long voyages below light speed.

Cryogenics solves a different kind of problem; see corpsicle.

See also the frigorific process from the 1879 story The Senator's Daughter, by Edward Page Mitchell.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Between Planets
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Between Planets
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Cold-Sleep-related news articles:
  - HetaCool - Your Personal Antifreeze?
  - Suspended Animation Works in Lab (With Nematodes)

Articles related to Biology
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Researchers Create Bowls, Coils, Ripples Of Living Tissue

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.