I have talked in previous posts about the various medical and equipment requirements for a 20 year cryo-hibernation at 5 degrees Celsius. But how do you gain the confidence that the process works and that you will wake up and be mentally and physically fit to carry out your mission at another star?
Testing can be done on animals to give a high degree of confidence but the definitive trials have to be carried out on humans.
But who would volunteer for a 10 years cryo trial!?
I will let Dr. Astronaut Martha Baker explain but first let me set the scene. The year is 2150 and we are at Mars Base in a very special unit. Our 4 astronauts are about to see the cryo-cocoons that they will enter on their starship for a 20 year journey to the star Seren.
‘I’d like you to meet Dr Astronaut Martha Baker,’ said AJ introducing the four astronauts by name, ‘Martha runs the cryo – hibernation unit here at Mars Base and she is going to show you around.’
Martha was in her late 30s with a small neat figure and smooth dark skin encompassing large eyes. She looked very striking in the white hygiene clothing which they had all changed into before entering the air lock.
The inner door hissed open and AJ and the astronauts followed Martha into the cryo-unit. They had seen many strange sights but this white floor- tiled, white-ceilinged, igloo-shaped room shrieked cleanliness and the astronauts felt almost afraid to enter. There was a constant noise of equipment beeping, valves opening and closing and the hiss of air and other gases pressurising and venting.
Martha beckoned them towards the middle of the room where seven lozenge shape units stood on complex support machinery fed by a multitude of pipes and wires. Behind each an LCD screen bristled with data, graphs and various coloured lights. Six of the structures were closed and the seventh stood open with its upper half retracted.
The four astronauts peered closer into the dark translucent upper halves of the closed units and saw that each contained a body!
‘My God!’ Olivia gasped, ‘Are they alive?’
‘Very much so,’ Martha replied, ‘let me introduce you to our six cryo – hibernation volunteers.’
‘Who on Earth would volunteer to be frozen?’ Steve queried.
‘Well, firstly they’re not frozen but kept at exactly 5 degrees Celsius and secondly on Earth there are still some really bad human beings.’
Martha paused for effect and then moved closer to the first unit.
‘Let me introduce you to Freddie Riggs, 20 years for armed robbery, killed a security guard – no parole. We offered him 15 in cryo and he’s done 10, five to go – he’ll soon be our longest serving cryo.’
Before the astonished astronauts could respond, Martha moved to the second unit. ‘Lisa Greenfield, killed her young child, very sad case, 10 years but could be out in seven for good behaviour – accepted five from us – one down four to go.’
Martha detailed the next four criminals and then stood before the last open unit. ‘Joe ‘bully’ Saunders, 10 years for serious aggravated assault, no parole, accepted seven from us – went home 4 weeks ago in surprisingly good health and hardly looking a day older!’
Finally I will let Zec have the last word.
‘My biggest concern using criminals was maintaining the secrecy and security of the operation at Mars Base. Therefore I chose only those candidates susceptible to hypnosis so that all memories of their stay at Mars Base were erased before returning to Earth.’
So who are Zec, Olivia, Steve and AJ you may wonder? Join them on their starship in 2150 when they go in search of The Blue People of Cloud Planet.