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

"Science fiction is what scientists would do if they could - if they had enough grant money, enough time, and enough brains to do the wonderful things they would like to do."
- Greg Bear

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
Hackers Insert Malware Into DNA
Worms Eat Plastic Now
Mini-Brains In A Dish
NASA's Prototype Lunar Greenhouse For Mars And Moon

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

Will A Steel Umbrella Stop Russia?
'Everyone was aware that the damned platform was wandering around in its own orbit...'

EVE Artificial Womb For Lambs (For Now)
'In the crimson darkness, stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones...'

TIKAD Armed Drone Ready To Fight
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...'

Bees Royal Jelly Helps Wounds Heal Faster
'An alien drug... used by an insect race.'

NASA Wants To Make Oxygen On Mars
'They plop down on the Red and if the dust is deep enough ... they burrow in...'

Hackers Insert Malware Into DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!'

X2-VelociRoACH Cooperates To Launch Tiny Drones
Little robots cooperating can do big tasks. Eventually.

MULTI Model Of Star Trek Turbolift
Cool prototype video!

A Look Into The Future Of Spacecraft!
Ever wonder how you look when you enter a new part of a spacecraft?

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.