A sprawling facility called Timeship in Texas will host 50,000 frozen dead people with one goal - to become the human race’s first immortals.
Activist Saul Kent - one of the minds behind it - is such a passionate believer in ‘cryogenics’ that he froze his own mother’s head in 1988 after her death.
The creators of Timeship - to begin construction shortly - say that the site will stay in place for ‘hundreds of years’, waiting for technology to advance sufficiently to revive the patients inside.
But Kent, and the other believers in the ‘Timeship’ are far from the only people who believe that immortality is just around the corner.
Others believe that new technologies might mean that people alive today will live forever - without ever having to put themselves in the freezer.
Many research projects designed to radically extend human life are already underway now. Here’s some of the ways you could live forever.
Heads transplanted on to younger bodies
Could elderly billionaires soon buy healthy young bodies to transplant their heads onto? The grisly prospect could soon become reality.
A controversial surgeon aims to transplant a human head onto another body as early as this year - and admits, ‘The final goal is immortality.’
Canavero already has a volunteer patient, a severely ill Russian man, Valery Spiridonov, who is willing to attempt the procedure despite the enormous and unknown risks.
Sergio Canavero claims to have successfully transplanted a monkey’s head - and has experimented on human corpses, according to New Scientist.
Man merges with machine
‘Different scientists call it uploading or they call it mind transfer. I prefer to call it personality transfer,’ says Russian media billionaire Dmitry Itskov.
Itskov believes that by by 2035, it will be possible to “upload” a human mind into a computer - allowing humans to defy death forever.
Itskov hopes that people can ‘upload’ their minds into computers - and then live forever inside android bodies.
‘We are really at the time when technology can affect human evolution. I want us to shape the future, bring it up for public discussion, and avoid any scenario that could damage humanity,’ Itskov said in an interview.
Are the first immortals already here?
Cambridge scientist Aubrey de Grey believes that the first human beings who could live forever have already been born.
Ageing is a disease, suggests de Grey - and can be cured.
He says, ‘If we ask the question: ‘Has the person been born who will be able to escape the ill health of old age indefinitely?’ Then I would say the chances of that are very high. Probably about 80 percent.’
De Grey doesn’t believe that one big breakthrough will lead to humans living ‘forever’ - but that being able to extend life by, say, 30 years, gives scientists time to come up with new, small breakthroughs.
‘We will be able to keep one step ahead of the problem and keep rejuvenating the same people as long as we like. That is what longevity escape velocity is all about.’
We live on in cloned bodies
Imagine if death wasn’t the end - and your thoughts could be transplanted, along with your brain, into a new body.
That’s the vision of a tech company, Humai, which is monitoring developments in robotics, medical treatments - and believes people will ‘come back from the dead’ within 30 years.
The company believes that within three decades, technology will have advanced so that people can freeze their brains - then have them transplanted into an artificial, robot-like body after death.
The company has five employees working on artificial intelligence and nanotechnology - in the hope they can conquer death once and for all.
CEO Josh Bocanegra told Popular Science, ‘We’ll first collect extensive data on our members for years prior to their death via various apps we’re developing.
‘After death we’ll freeze the brain using cryonics technology. When the technology is fully developed we’ll implant the brain into an artificial body. The artificial body functions will be controlled with your thoughts by measuring brain waves.
‘As the brain ages we’ll use nanotechnology to repair and improve cells. Cloning technology is going to help with this too.
‘I think the body has limitations and I don’t believe the body was evolved with the best possible functions. I think an artificial body will contribute more to the human experience. It will extend the human experience.
‘So much so, that those who accept death will probably change their mind.’
(All pictures: Credit Rex)