Suspended Animation is a proposed technique that involves inducing a human body into a state of hibernation in order to allow for maximum conservation of time and life-support on long-distance flights.
In real life, scientists have been studying the technique, but nobody has been placed into suspended animation for a long period of time. However, the concept has become a popular idea in science fiction.
2001: A Space OdysseyEditIn Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey, three of the five-man crew of Discovery 1, (Dr. Jack Kimball, Dr. Charles Hunter, and Dr. Victor Kaminsky) were placed in suspended animation for the trip to Jupiter, in order to conserve supplies. Though this technique had been used on previous space efforts, it was the first time the astronauts were placed in hibernation before departure. The life-support of the three "hibernauts" were carefully monitored by the on-board HAL 9000 computer, as well as the working crew of Discovery, David Bowman and Frank Poole.
All three were killed when Hal maliciously shut off their life-support systems. It was later revealed that they were aware of the true purpose of the mission, and had been kept in hibernation to prevent them from revealing it to Bowman or Poole, neither of whom returned.
2010: Odyssey TwoEdit
In 2010, all three of the American astronauts (Heywood Floyd, Walter Curnow, and Dr. Chandra) on board the Soviet vessel Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov were kept in hibernation until the ship reached Jupiter, with the exception of Heywood Floyd, who was awoken two days early at the request of his government.