Suspended Animation In Space Travel: What Scientists Still Need To Learn. Prometheus/Twentieth Century Fox


10: Percent of people who are frightened of needles. They could benefit from a new technology which may make injections pain-free.

6: Episodes in the first season of a new show called How We Got to Now, which tells the story of simple inventions that shaped the modern world.

200,000: Number of applicants who applied to the Mars One mission, which MIT students recently predicted will end in starvation.

1 atom: Thickness of the thinnest possible electrical generator, as demonstrated by researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Columbia Engineering.

Squeezing Charges From Material

This is a cartoon showing positive and negative polarized charges are squeezed from a single layer of atoms of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), as it is being stretched.

7 weeks: Amount of time the Ebola virus can reside in a patient’s semen even after full recovery.

180 days: The length of a trip to Mars. Putting astronauts in suspended animation could make that journey a lot easier, according to a NASA-commissioned study on human stasis.

Human hibernation could be a great way to get to Mars (and beyond), but a few big questions remain.

Suspended Animation In Space Travel: What Scientists Still Need To Learn

100,000,000: Number of colors that tetrachromatic artist, Concetta Antico, can perceive thanks to an extra type of cone cell in her eyes. That’s 100 times more than the average person.

Concetta Antico

220 pounds: Weight of Philae, Rosetta spacecraft’s lander, which is scheduled for a historic landing on Comet 47P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 12.


An artist’s rendering of Philae touching down on 67P

150 miles: Distance from which elephants can detect approaching rainstorms.

African Elephants

22 months: Length of time that X-37B, the secret robot space plane, spent on its last mission before touching down on Earth earlier this week.


X-37B On Runway

Correction (10/17/2014, 5:11pm ET): The original story stated 0.1 percent of people are afraid of needles. In fact, it’s 10 percent of people, and it has been corrected. We regret the error.