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Cryo-chamber: Misc



Up to date as of February 08, 2010

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A Cryo-Chamber aboard the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn.

A Cryo-chamber is a plastasteel[1] chamber that allows all UNSC non-essential personnel to be cryonically frozen for long periods of time. An example of its use would be during prolonged Slipspace jumps. They are basically large metal pods with form-fitting gel beds where the personnel are frozen until they are needed. An example of this is John-117, who was stored in a cryo-chamber aboard the ship UNSC Pillar of Autumn and later unhatched from the cryosleep chamber by Tech Chief Thom Shephard along with Tech Officer Sam Marcus.

Known models of the cryo-chamber include the Mark VII Personal Suspension Unit, manufactured by Jakubaitis Standard Systems. It was widely disliked by UNSC personnel because of its inferior moisture balancing, this resulted in dry, itchy skin for a day or more after awakening, known as "cryo-itch". It was later replaced by the Mark VIII Cryogenic Suspension Chamber, although many older craft still use the Mark VII.[2]


Technical Specifications

A standard Cryo-tube aboard a Halcyon-class Cruiser.

The cryo-chambers are usually stored in their own areas of the ship. Each cryo-chamber will hold an individual for as long as necessary, provided they use a Bronchial Surfactant, and can be ejected prior to an emergency landing, thus saving some crew from harm to be recovered later. Spartan-058, after being severely injured during the fall of Reach, was placed in a cryo-chamber in the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. Prior to the ship's landing on Installation 04, her cryo-chamber was ejected, and she was picked up by the Master Chief at a later date.

Cryo-chambers are monitored by the Ship's AI, and the AI can awaken crew members at a moment's notice. Cryo-computer is designed to change the pharmaceuticals dosage if a individual appears as though they might wake from cryogenic sleep.[3] Cryo wake-up protocols demand that crew check each other to make sure everyone revives from cryo all right. There is usually a medical pod in cryogenics bays for emergency resuscitation situations. People are almost always stored in cryo-pods naked, as covered skin generally reacts badly to the cryo process, leaving skin raw and blistered.[4]

However, in Halo: Combat Evolved, the Master Chief emerges from the cryo-pod completely fitted in his armor, using Spartan training to ignore the pain. His enhanced physiology presumably allows for a quick recovery from superficial pain and injury such as this.[5]

It is unknown whether the Covenant has a similar technology, but it is likely considering the vast distances of interstellar space their ships likely need to travel. Even though Covenant ships are much faster than UNSC ships, Slipspace travel is still not instantaneous.

After the Battle of Installation 00, after the Arbiter flies the front half of the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn through the Ark Portal, the back section with the Chief and Cortana remain behind. Cortana sends out a signal, but it will take years for it to reach somewhere. To wait until then, the Chief goes into cryo sleep until someone finds him.


Cryo-chambers aboard UNSC Spirit of Fire, as seen in Halo Wars.
  • Cryo-chambers are referred to as "the freezer" in slang,[6] named after a term often called freezer burn which is a pain in joints and muscles caused by the cryo sleep pharmaceuticals trapped in muscles and joints. Another slang term for the chamber is "the Admiral's wife" because it is a "frosty bed."[7] Being put in cryo is also referred to as being "put on ice."[8]
  • Slipspace Field Pod is the Forerunner equivalent to the Cryo chamber, the Covenant has no known long term storage devices like the Cryo chamber that have been directly observed, but some ships have been found with tube like objects that some think might be a covenant cryo-tube.
  • While in cryo, humans don't age. Individuals in cryo tubes are given a steady supply of pharmaceuticals that control the frequency and duration of cryo-sleep cycles along with influencing the content of their dreams.[9]
  • Even though humans must enter a cryo-tube naked or risk being blistered when they emerge, Professor Ellen Anders entered her tube with her clothes on. This is most likely because, unlike the other Halo games, Halo Wars is rated T for teen and such a display would probably result in an AO or M rating.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, it is possible through a glitch to get back inside, and see the chief, headless.
  • In the Halo Legends episode The Package, when SPARTAN-117 locates Dr Catherine Halsey in a Cyro chamber, she is fully clothed. Yet when she awakens she appears to have not suffered any effects of "freezer burn" such as any visible rashes or blisters nor does she show any signs of pain or discomfort. This was most likely done for the same reasons in Halo Wars, thus simply ignoring the freezer burn issue entirely.



  1. Halo: First Strike, page 150: John brushed off the frost buildup that clouded the top half of the cryotube, and revealed the green-armored figure sprawled behind the plastasteel shell.
  2. Halo Encyclopedia, page 216
  3. "The cryo-computer observed a surge of activity in Avery’s brain-an effort to yank himself out of REM-and upped his dosage." Halo: Contact Harvest p. 60
  4. Halo: The Flood, page 20
  5. Halo: The Flood, page 21
  6. Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 102
  7. Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 21
  8. Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 21
  9. Halo: Contact Harvest p. 60

This article uses material from the "Cryo-chamber" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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