Torpor is achieved by decreasing a crew member’s core temperature to approximately 34oC (93oF). There are several techniques that can be used to accomplish this. Some are invasive, involving injecting a cooled saline solution into the femoral vein, while others are non-invasive, such as circulating cold water through a blanket or body pads. Our preferred solution is called Trans Nasal Evaporative Cooling. With this approach, a small plastic tube is inserted into a crew member’s nasal cavity. This is used to deliver a spray of coolant mist that evaporates directly underneath the brain and base of the skull. As blood passes through the cooling area, it reduces the temperature throughout the rest of the body. The current terrestrial variant of this system is called RhinoChill® by BeneChill, Inc.
Administering nutrition and hydration via Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) requires use of an intravenous (IV) line and no additional equipment.
Crewmembers will also have monitoring equipment similar to those seen in a normal hospital setting to monitor their vital signs while in the Torpor state.