2001: A Space Odyssey Wiki
2001: A Space Odyssey Wiki

Hibernation pods, or the hibernaculum, is a personalized hibernation chamber that induces sleep or suspended animation. They are first seen on the Discovery in the 2001: A Space Odyssey film. The word hibernaculum is not used in the 2001 novel, but appears later in Arthur C. Clarke’s 3001: The Final Odyssey.[1] Use of hibernation pods appear throughout Clarke’s Space Odyssey series.


Hibernation pods are used to artificially induce sleep on selected crew personnel for lengthy space travel. The method conserves on food and expendables; and ensures that the team would be fresh and alert, and not fatigued.[2]

2001: A Space Odyssey[]

HAL Malfunction

HAL deactivates life support for the three hibernating scientists.

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, three of the five-man crew of Discovery, (Dr. Jack Kimball, Dr. Charles Hunter, and Dr. Victor Kaminsky) were placed in hibernation pods for their trip to Jupiter. Though this technique had been used on previous space efforts, it was the first time the astronauts were placed in hibernation before departure. The life-support of the three scientists is carefully monitored by the on-board HAL 9000 supercomputer, as well as the working crew of Discovery, David Bowman and Frank Poole. All three are killed when HAL 9000 shuts off their life-support systems in what he thinks is the best way, at the time, to defend himself.

2010: Odyssey Two[]

In 2010, all three of the American astronauts (Heywood Floyd, Walter Curnow, and Dr. Chandra) on board the Soviet vessel Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov were kept in similar hibernation pods until the ship reached Jupiter, with the exception of Heywood Floyd, who was awoken two days early at the request of his government.