Cryogenic suspension or suspended animation is a means of slowing down life functions so as to preserve life for transportation and medical purposes.
Cryogenic suspension is utilized during long periods of interstellar travel, where such travel may last longer than the ability of a ship's life support systems to otherwise maintain human life (TOS: "Greetings from Earth").
- According to Encyclopedia Galactica (a non-canonical piece of merchandise published in 1979):
- Cryogenic suspension is "the technique of slowing life functions to a minimum through exposure to intense cold" and is a "common medical technique since the Scientific Renaissance". It is used in cases where "the necessary antidote is temporarily unavailable, or where elaborate diagnostic tests must be completed" before treatment can begin.
- Cryogenic suspension is also used as a means of keeping the crew of sub-light spacecraft alive so as to minimize food and oxygen consumption.
- Kraus, Bruce (1979). Encyclopedia Galactica, p. 28.