Bears, Humans, and Mars?

The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing, and bears are heading to their dens for the long winter’s sleep. Bears are known for hibernating through the winter months to conserve energy when resources are scarce. This survival mechanism is intriguing to scientists and researchers that are looking to travel to Mars.

Man has always looked into space and dreamt of traveling to distant realms. Bears may be part of the answer that brings us closer to achieving this goal. Travel to Mars could potentially take years. This has lead scientists to tackle a very important question of what to do with the astronauts in the meantime. If these space pioneers could take a long nap, much like bears do in the winter, it could help pass the time while their craft is in auto-pilot.

Researchers are currently investigating how they can reduce our astronaut’s metabolic state through lowering their breath and heart rates. If they can figure out a way to achieve a state of hibernation or, more appropriately, torpor, like bears do in the winter, it could solve the problem of eating, drinking, and using the, ummm, facilities. This would make it much easier to send astronauts on long missions to distant planets.

Who knew our furry neighbors could give us an edge up in space?

Denise Peterson

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