Mars astronauts ‘will hibernate for 50 million-mile journey in space’

It was once the preserve of science fiction books and films such as 2001: a Space Odyssey and Alien, but scientists now believe that they will be able to develop ways of sending people on long space journeys in hibernation. The European Space Agency is funding research into what has become the holy grail of space travel – a method that will allow astronauts to spend months or years in suspended animation.