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View Full Version : Alien series got one thing right. NASA considering stasis



MVAgusta1078RR
2014-Nov-06, 07:46 PM
http://www.geek.com/science/nasa-may-get-astronauts-to-mars-using-deep-sleep-and-intravenous-drips-1606052/

http://www.universetoday.com/115265/nasa-investigating-deep-space-hibernation-technology/

https://twitter.com/NASAXrocks/status/519510102119043072

http://www.nasa.gov/content/torpor-inducing-transfer-habitat-for-human-stasis-to-mars/#.VFvMrDTF_bc

I'm kind of not surprised that the Alien movies got something right since it's the least fantastical sci-fi movie series. Though they never touch on how anyone gets anywhere in those movies. I have no idea if the marines on the Sulaco or when Ripley was in stasis for 57 years if they were traveling faster than light, hyperspace or what it never says. When Ripley drifted through the core systems no one even knows what that means, the core of the galaxy...It never even says how much of space has been explored or colonized. Most of the tech that is explained is the guns...pulse rifle, smart gun etc. Not how anyone gets anywhere.

But anyways back to the point. I don't know how they do it in the movie if it's with gas or freezing but it seems NASA will do it with an introveneous drip and freezing.

Here is an official presentation from NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/NIAC_Torpor_Habitat_for_Human_Stasis.pdf

cjameshuff
2014-Nov-06, 11:03 PM
Not freezing, deep torpor induced with drugs and carefully controlled hypothermia.

Van Rijn
2014-Nov-07, 12:40 AM
I was thinking about starting a thread on the torpor research. It's a fairly low budget item, and may not go anywhere, but they're trying to see what the health effects would be of extending currently used medical torpor procedures, which are usually limited to a few days or a week for the patient. They would like to be able to do it for three to six months.

If it works out, torpor could be a game changer, since it would reduce environmental requirements on flight. But they don't mention it could also be a game changer for habitation: If you had a space habitat, or Mars habitat like the Mars One guys would like, and if there was a problem limiting food or atmosphere for a time, this might allow part of the population to go to sleep, reducing environmental requirements and help them survive things that would otherwise kill part or all of the population.

Jeff Root
2014-Nov-07, 05:47 AM
I'm pretty sure the Alien movies are supposed to take place
within our Solar System. The asteroids are being colonized
and mined. The aliens discovered on the one asteroid are
apparently visitors from some other solar system.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Noclevername
2014-Nov-07, 07:29 AM
I'm pretty sure the Alien movies are supposed to take place
within our Solar System. The asteroids are being colonized
and mined. The aliens discovered on the one asteroid are
apparently visitors from some other solar system.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

The planet in Alien is in the Zeta II Reticuli system, according to Lambert's dialogue. Ripley passes through the "core star systems" in Aliens.

Jeff Root
2014-Nov-07, 04:48 PM
Okay, I picked up on some other details that I can't cite
(not even which movie) which suggested pretty strongly
that the action takes place on an asteroid in our Solar
System. Ripley expected to hibernate for maybe a couple
of years before getting back to Earth, which makes perfect
scientific sense for flights between Earth and the main
asteroid belt, and is why she was so pissed off when she
found out she'd been in hibernation for fifty-some years.
Everyone she knew was now probably dead of old age.

I wonder if the location got changed during production,
and they didn't try very hard to keep it consistent.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

MVAgusta1078RR
2014-Nov-07, 04:49 PM
The asteroids are being colonized
and mined. The aliens discovered on the one asteroid are
apparently visitors from some other solar system.

Yea that's another thing that I saw from the Alien movies in real life. When I heard of Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries and asteroid mining I immediately thought of the opening scene in Alien when it says they're hauling however million or thousands of tons of mineral ore xD


I wonder if the location got changed during production,
and they didn't try very hard to keep it consistent.

It might have but I never thought the movie took place in this solar system since LV-426 is no known moon that goes around what looks like Jupiter or a gas giant in the movie. Even in Prometheus, which is supposed to be a prequel, they leave the solar system. Maybe originally LV-426 was supposed to be a moon orbiting Jupiter in an early draft.

NEOWatcher
2014-Nov-07, 05:34 PM
It looks like a discussion about fictional space destinations and activities are more important that real technology that is being researched. :rolleyes:

7cscb
2014-Nov-07, 06:43 PM
From a long term lurker, this is an excellent aside...cheers

solitonmanny
2014-Nov-09, 01:44 PM
The system(s) depicted in the movies were definitely outside our own solar system, there would be no logical reason for the hyper duration of Ripley's induced torpor. The equipment shown ( all the relevant ships) in the movies also depicts extremely long distances, apart from this I just enjoyed the movies a lot.
Best wishes to all

solitonmanny

Jeff Root
2014-Nov-09, 07:00 PM
The little bit I know, I know for sure: That Ripley was definitely
surprised and angry at how long she had been held in hibernation.
Way longer than she expected or was necessary. My more vague
recollection/guess is that she was held in hibernation on Earth
until she was needed to return to the asteroid so that she could
help find out what the deal was with the aliens. The trip to an
asteroid in the main belt or back to Earth would realistically take
two years or so, which is how long she expected to hibernate.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

cjameshuff
2014-Nov-09, 08:04 PM
...wouldn't the fact that the alien spacecraft was discovered on a world with substantial gravity and a dense atmosphere orbiting a gas giant that was clearly not one of the four in the solar system, and that it was later colonized and terraforming started, cause some problems for your idea?

Jeff Root
2014-Nov-09, 09:35 PM
Certainly. It's just that aside from the gravity, the colonization,
and the terraforming, I don't recall those facts.

And the gravity could just be due to the practical realities of
movie making. I've seen lots and lots of movie scenes that
were supposed to be in low gravity or weightlessness that
obviously were not.

I thought the terraforming was necessary because the body
was an asteroid, without any atmosphere of its own, and
possible to do because it was small -- an asteroid, not a
planet.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Spacedude
2014-Nov-09, 10:28 PM
It's just that aside from the gravity, the colonization,
and the terraforming, I don't recall those facts.


Those facts were brought up in "Aliens", the 2nd movie of the series. The marines were sent to see why the colony on Ripley's original crashed alien ship planet went out of contact with Earth. While Ripley was drifting in space asleep for decades The "corporation" found the planet and decided to terraform it and start a colony there not knowing about Ripley's experience on it at the time. At least that's how I recall it. It came across to me as another solar system.

cjameshuff
2014-Nov-10, 03:31 AM
I'm wondering if you're remembering something from a completely different movie. Apart from the fundamental problems with the basic idea of terraforming an asteroid, it was clearly shown in Alien as a round world with a thick atmosphere, covered in clouds. It was stormy enough to give them a rough descent, with howling winds and thick murk on the surface. You couldn't possibly make the mistake of thinking it lacked an atmosphere.

Re-watching the relevant parts:
One of the first screens shown, before anyone wakes up, even gives a numeric "galactic position" report. After they wake up, some of the first words spoken are "Where's Earth?" and "it's not our system", followed by "I've found it, just short of Zeta II Reticuli. We haven't reached the outer rim yet.".

The place is stated to be a planetoid 1200 km in size...if a radius, that's a few hundred km smaller than Titan (correction: a bit smaller than Triton, about half the size of Titan). Gravity is "0.86", which gets the response "you can walk on it". It's mentioned that they landed on lava rock and that the atmosphere is "almost primordial", with nitrogen and methane. There was a big blue gas giant with distinct rings visible in the background. It's a geologically active moon of a gas giant in Zeta II Reticuli, not some microgravity main belt rock in the solar system.

Jeff Root
2014-Nov-10, 05:00 AM
According to the IMDb plot synopsis, the 1200 km figure is
diameter, and appears only in the 2003 Director's Cut.
If that is correct, then this planetoid is somewhat larger
than Ceres and a lot smaller than Pluto.

2275 Pluto
1575 Titania (Uranus)
1530 Rhea (Saturn)
1520 Oberon (Uranus)
1460 Iapetus (Saturn)
1200 Planetoid in 'Alien'
1170 Charon (Pluto)
1170 Umbriel (Uranus)
1155 Ariel (Uranus)
1120 Dione (Saturn)
1060 Tethys (Saturn)
_940 Ceres

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

novaderrik
2014-Nov-10, 06:18 AM
It looks like a discussion about fictional space destinations and activities are more important that real technology that is being researched. :rolleyes:

everyone is just getting mentally prepared for the inevitable face huggers and aliens with acid for blood that will be encountered once this technology is put to use.

NEOWatcher
2014-Nov-10, 02:13 PM
everyone is just getting mentally prepared for the inevitable face huggers and aliens with acid for blood that will be encountered once this technology is put to use.
Let them come. I'd probably be in a nursing home or something that I wouldn't care by the time this happens.

I was hoping to hear how this technology relates to other space physiology discussions such as experiments on how the body atrophies without enough exercise in space.

cjameshuff
2014-Nov-10, 04:17 PM
I was hoping to hear how this technology relates to other space physiology discussions such as experiments on how the body atrophies without enough exercise in space.

It's torpor, with a slowed but not halted metabolism, so the rate of deterioration might be reduced, but you're obviously not countering it with exercise. I've seen some mentions of using electrical muscle stimulation to simulate exercise, I don't know how well that'd actually work. It might be enough to wake once every couple weeks or so for exercise and to let the body recover. Really, even just a normal waking period every two days would help a lot.

Van Rijn
2014-Nov-11, 11:08 PM
I've seen some mentions of using electrical muscle stimulation to simulate exercise, I don't know how well that'd actually work.


The PDF:

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/NIAC_Torpor_Habitat_for_Human_Stasis.pdf

mentions having an NMES (muscular stimulation) system. (For anyone interested in this, I recommend reading the PDF. It's not an article as such, more like a presentation, and is quick reading).

It's very clear this is highly investigative. A more fundamental issue than muscular atrophy is the question of general risk in extending torpor beyond the short periods done now for medical reasons. That's really the point: We know short-term torpor can be induced. Can it be done for an extended period in a way that's reasonably safe and doesn't have huge side-effects?

I've actually been fairly surprised that there hasn't been more interest in researching hibernation/long term torpor before now. This slows down metabolism, which could, for example, slow down cancer. There's long been the idea of using some form of stasis so a person could survive until a cure was developed for a condition. Maybe someone with intractable cancer could be given a chance by putting them in hibernation for a series of six month periods. Also, if metabolism is slowed down, there's a decent chance that many aspects of aging would be as well. Someone might hop their way twenty or thirty years into the future, with a series of hibernation sessions.

NEOWatcher
2014-Nov-12, 01:09 PM
The PDF:
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/NIAC_Torpor_Habitat_for_Human_Stasis.pdf
mentions having an NMES (muscular stimulation) system.
Wouldn't that be counterproductive?

Noclevername
2014-Nov-12, 02:23 PM
Wouldn't that be counterproductive?

In what way? It would prevent (hopefully) the degradation of muscle tissue.

NEOWatcher
2014-Nov-12, 02:37 PM
In what way? It would prevent (hopefully) the degradation of muscle tissue.
By raising the metabolism or something. Wouldn't muscular activity work against the advantages of the topor state?

cjameshuff
2014-Nov-12, 02:43 PM
By raising the metabolism or something. Wouldn't muscular activity work against the advantages of the topor state?

So does providing oxygen. However, the goal isn't just to reduce metabolism, you also have to eventually come out of torpor in a healthy state.

NEOWatcher
2014-Nov-12, 02:57 PM
So does providing oxygen. However, the goal isn't just to reduce metabolism, you also have to eventually come out of torpor in a healthy state.
I'm not thinking of metabolism in and of itself. I'm not sure what processes are involved.
Oxygen can be provided at levels to sustain rather than increase activity, so I'm not sure how that relates to something that's meant to increase activity.

But; I do get the point that there needs to be a balance between the two to stay healthy. Like said earlier, this is all still research.

Isn't there another research going on that involved some volunteers to lay on their back for months or something?
I would think this might relate. The PDF shows a rotating sleeping type of module, so the two do seem to be related somehow.

publiusr
2014-Nov-15, 09:37 PM
Could you do work in a dream state? Tele-robotics say?
Or too risky?

KaiYeves
2014-Nov-16, 01:56 AM
Could you do work in a dream state? Tele-robotics say?
Or too risky?

I don't know about you, but my dreams are nowhere near logical or coherent enough for anything constructive to result from giving my dreaming mind control of something in the physical world.