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NOVA 2 COLD SLEEP CHAMBER
The Nova 2 Cold Sleep Chamber (“Nova 2”) is the current cryosystem used in pioneer class missions. The system operates on the same key principles as its predecessors by slowing metabolic processes through controlled freezing. Where the Nova 2 stands out is in the multitude of safety features integrated into its design.
The primary killer of first generation cryosystems was the sudden loss of power. As ship life support would be powered down while the crew was in stasis, any premature revival of the individual (sometimes called a “tuber”) was a death sentence. Independent backup power units were developed to minimize this from happening. Another vexing problem for early settlers and their cryosystems was the crystallization of cells during transport. The revival of a tuber who did not die while in-transit is considered among the worst ways to die shy of torture.
The study of Deep Sleep Cryostasis (DSC) was established to increase the safety of cryostasis in all long-distance, multi-system travel. The research was to be overseen and funded by the CMSB.
Rather than fight crystallization (the conditions for which had too many variables and highly dependent on the individual tuber), researchers sought to use high-resolution, limited, controlled bio-crystallization to their advantage. The result allowed for the near absolute suspension of organic metabolic systems without damaging delicate cellular structures. Longer sleep cycles with less metabolic activity (“aging”) was the result. The Nova 1 embodied this new paradigm for the science of cryostasis.
The constant march of technology brought the Nova 2 to market. Modern processors allow each tuber to be monitored (through their V-STAT suit) and maintained at the maximum, reversible level of non-crystallization. The V-STAT’s internal monitoring and safety mechanisms could independently adjust each tuber’s environment and keep them at the threshold of crystallization without crossing it. The survival rate for this change alone jumped by over 500%. Triple power failsafes were built into each module, including a system check which could, if adequate ship resources remained for the journey, bring limited life support online. Barring this option, the tube will go into “survival lockdown” (SURLOCK), cutting the malfunctioning tube from the system and seeking to maintain maximum survivable freeze time. SURLOCKed tubers could then be safely revived with a full medical staff on standby.
Further advances, including pre-cryostatic meals (Synthet-o-Meal), have propelled the safety of cryostasis by magnitudes since the early days of its use. Such meals allowed lower module temperatures without sacrificing safety.