Cryogenic sleep: Will we finally be able to cheat death?

Cryogenic sleep is a cornerstone of science fiction; with new facilities opening, it's only fitting that we examine the latest developments in this field.
Interesting Engineering

Cryogenic sleep has been a core concept in science fiction for many years. The idea of being able to freeze a human body or brain and revive it later has fascinated people for decades. However, what was once only a figment of the imagination is now a reality.

The first human to be cryopreserved was psychologist James H. Bedford, who died of kidney cancer in 1967. Alcor, a cryonics organization founded in 1972, performed its first human cryopreservation in 1976. Since then, almost 200 people's heads and bodies have been cryopreserved at Alcor's facility in the hopes of being revived later.

The founder of the cryonics movement, Robert Ettinger, is also frozen and stored at the Cryonics Institute, which he founded in 1976. Along with him, his mother, Rhea, and his two wives, Elaine and Mae, are also cryopreserved.

NASA has been collaborating with SpaceWorks Enterprises to develop a cryogenic sleep chamber for astronauts. The technology works by lowering the astronaut's body temperature to 89-93°F (32-34°C), inducing a state of hibernation. Catheters would be used to supply nutrition and remove waste.

The Southern Hemisphere's first known cryonics facility is located on the outskirts of a tiny rural town in southern New South Wales. Southern Cryonics aims to freeze human remains in liquid nitrogen with the hope of reviving them in the distant future. This facility is expected to receive its first cryo-guests this year.

The concept of cryogenic sleep has been met with both excitement and skepticism. Many people believe that it is nothing more than science fiction, while others see it as a way to cheat death. While there is still much we don't know about cryonics, the fact that people are being cryopreserved and stored for the future is a testament to the belief that science can eventually conquer death.

Critics of cryonics argue that the process is not only expensive but also ethically questionable. Some people have raised concerns about the possibility of reviving people in a future world that may not be equipped to deal with them or their beliefs. There is also the question of what happens if the cryopreservation process fails, and the person's remains are irreparably damaged.

Despite the criticism, cryonics organizations like Alcor and the Cryonics Institute continue to operate, and new facilities are being established around the world. As science and technology continue to advance, the possibility of reviving cryopreserved individuals becomes more of a reality.

In conclusion, cryogenic sleep has gone from being a science fiction concept to a reality. While it is still a controversial topic, cryonics organizations around the world continue to work towards the goal of reviving cryopreserved individuals in the future. Whether or not cryonics will one day become a mainstream method of cheating death remains to be seen, but the fact that people are being cryopreserved and stored for the future is a testament to the resilience of human belief in the power of science.