Based on the end of Alien and the beginning of Aliens, we can see that a human in stasis can survive for decades and wake up with only a headache and a fraction of the actual aging time. Case in point, Ripley spends over fifty years in a compromised hypersleep chamber and awakens looking only a couple years older.

This seems like an amazing piece of technology that has applications far above and beyond just killing a few months in space. You could probably freeze somebody with an incurable disease until it's curable. Or you could just hop in and wake up fifty years in the future with very little consequence. (see https://xkcd.com/989/). But to my knowledge, nobody in the Alien universe has hinted at Cryosleep Chambers being used for anything other than deep space travel. The only two examples I can think of are both used under odd circumstances: Ripley getting in the chamber to survive deep space and a throwaway line in Alien:Isolation where the progression of a facehugger is slowed down with the chamber.

Is there any indication of Cryosleep Chambers being developed and used for something other than deep space travel?

  • As far as I can recall, the other possible uses (like freezing someone until their disease is curable) never arise in the movies. It's all space travel.
    – Wad Cheber
    May 27, 2016 at 6:46
  • @WadCheber - The wiki mentions that it cushions the user against g-forces incurred during space travel. I can't find any referencing though...
    – Valorum
    May 27, 2016 at 19:30
  • “you could just hop in and wake up fifty years in the future with very little consequence” — well, assuming you could afford to keep it safe and switched on. A lot can happen in 50 years. Jun 19, 2016 at 22:33
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    I think there's a hypersex chamber, but it's never been used. On a parallel note, would a hypersleep chamber work on an Alien? Jun 20, 2016 at 0:17
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    “awakens looking only a couple years older” — looked about seven years older to me! Mar 13, 2017 at 11:03

3 Answers 3


Like you mention, in Alien: Isolation the progression of a Facehugger is slowed by putting the victim to cryosleep. In Alien, Parker suggests to do exactly the same thing to Kane and his Facehugger. In a deleted scene, Parker says:

How come you guys don't freeze him?

And later, from the script:

The best thing to do is just to freeze him. Stop the goddam disease. He can get a doctor to look at him when we get back home.

I'm not aware of any canon information about the development of cryosleep for any other uses than interstellar travel, but as you can see, using it for quarantining Kane and his Facehugger seems like the obvious solution to the engineer Parker, so it's probably something people know can be done – at least with regular diseases.

Nonetheless, as we know, the science officer Ash dismisses the idea. From an answer to a question about why this is:

The novelisation makes it clear that the cryotube doesn't create a perfect stasis (a la Star Trek) but functions as a suspended animation device, slowing the user's vital signs but not stopping them. Entering in an unwell state might delay your death but it certainly wouldn't stop it.

Still, why Ash actually doesn't follow Parker's suggestion in Alien is anybody's guess, especially since in Prometheus, David (who, shall we say, has similar motives and directives to Ash) plans to put the similarly infected Elizabeth Shaw in cryosleep, before she escapes and solves her predicament in another way.

Also, in the video game Aliens vs. Predator, the character Tequila is likewise frozen in cryosleep to halt the development of her Chestburster embryo.

This next one is a bit speculative, and the entire crew was in cryosleep anyway, but in Prometheus the 101 year old Peter Weyland was secretly aboard the ship on its expedition to LV-233. His goal was to find the Engineers or their technology in order to gain immortality. Therefore, his reasons for being in cryosleep for the duration of the two year long trip probably included postponing his aging process so he didn't die of old age on the way there.

  • What I wonder, how many cats did they go through before finding one that could be reliably caught and taken into cryosleep? Cause it's a big ship, and catching a cat so everyone can go to sleep wouldn't happen every time, especially if the cat doesn't want to be caught. That ship's airducts must be full of cat skeletons...
    – Tim
    Mar 13, 2017 at 22:26
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    @Tim You could ask that as a separate question! However, from the Alien novelization I know that Jones the cat was "long accustomed to the vagaries of ship travel and the idiosyncrasies of humans who travelled through space". Some chapters are written from his perspective, so maybe you'll learn something about his feelings on cryosleep there.
    – tobiasvl
    Mar 13, 2017 at 22:32

In the prequel to Alien, Weyland has been in stasis aboard the Prometheus hoping the Engineers can help to prevent his death from old age, I believe


No, there is no indication in the Alien series, either movie, official websites or fandom that suggest hypersleep is used as anybut that. However, there are suggestions that the technology has improved overtime; see how the crew in Alien awake very groggily and it takes awhile for them to come around, compared to the Marines in Aliens who after only a couple of minutes were more or less ready to go.

  • That difference could also be explained by the Soldiers training, and the generally better tech available to the military versus space truckers.
    – ench
    Mar 14, 2017 at 1:16

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