Say what you will about Elon Musk … at least his space ship to Mars will be carrying living people. A Russian company announced it will launch cryogenically frozen humans into space. Will it bring them back to be reanimated? How many rubles do you have?
KrioRus claims to be Russia’s only cryogenics company and the first outside of the US. Founded in 2005 and based in Moscow, the company’s website says it currently has the bodies or brains of 54 people, eight dogs, nine cats, three birds and a chinchilla cryogenically frozen. It has recently entered into an agreement with another Russian firm — Space Technologies – to launch frozen humans into orbit until such time as they can be thawed and brought back to life.
When will that happen? First, the two companies need to explain HOW it will happen. So far, all they seem to have agreed upon is the price — $250,000 US – and that’s just to keep the body in orbit, not the cost of getting it there or bringing it back (equally as important … no?). Space Technologies describes itself as a “commercial scientific and technical association, which was established for the development, implementation and investment of commercial space programs.” That’s about as specific as it gets – no mention of rockets, crews or shuttles to the cryocapsules to check on the temperatures. The company did give some info on the cryocapsules:
Nanosatellites with cryocapsules will be manufactured in Russia and launched into orbit from Russian launch facilities. Any payload can be launched into orbit individually or included within any larger cargo manifest. The choice of options will only effect the launch cost and the duration of the preparation. The group plan will be cheaper and quicker. The period of preparation for shipment of individual cargo will be approximately two years. The customer may choose the orbital path.
That’s nice … you can choose to have your body pass over your house … for an additional fee – although the ‘group plan’ might be an economical option if you can get some neighbors to go along with you.
KrioRus has over 10 years of experience in cryogenics on Earth, but how does it plan to keep things cold and safe in space?
The apparatus with a capsule containing cryopreserved body or brain will feature a safe thermal coating, affording also protection for the capsule from the effects of cosmic radiation and will allow the hermetic capsule with liquid nitrogen to be stored in a stable predetermined state. In the event of a capsule leakage, emergency telemetry will be received on Earth, where the tracking and control of the devices with the stored body or brain will be carried out for timely resolution of whatever problem. In such an event, it is planned to deploy repair satellites currently under development.
This sounds more like think tank speculation than liquid nitrogen tank talk. It’s definitely not a solution for sending humans on long-distance space flights where they spend most of the trip in a state of frozen suspended animation.
Why not just launch the frozen humans on a truck to Siberia? Perhaps the folks at KrioRus think it’s safer in space. But, if things go bad down here, who’s going to be left to bring them back?