The Prolong Treatment was a life-extension technology for humans developed on Beowulf that worked on the epigenetic level. In the early 20th Century PD, there were three different generations of prolong.
Most citizens of the Star Kingdom of Manticore were prolong recipients by 1900 PD, after the procedure's first introduction in 1829 PD. After the creation of the Manticoran Alliance and later the Star Empire of Manticore, the treatment was administered to larger and larger parts of the population of Grayson, the Alliance worlds and the Talbott Quadrant. (SI2)
Twenty-five years of age was generally considered the outside limit for starting prolong treatments. (CS2)
Prolong slowed aging sufficiently so that it appeared to be fully arrested for a long period in the person's life. The 'freeze' did not last forever, but a prolong-affected lifespan was 200-300 years. Aging was 'frozen' at a younger point depending on the treatment version available when the patient was young enough (but not too old) to be treated. For instance, first-generation prolong recipients would settle at a physical age in their mid-forties for an extended time, while third-generation recipients would appear to be in their late twenties. While the Prolong Treatment 'froze' its recipient visually at a reduced age, it also prolonged development. Many individuals (eg, Honor Harrington and Queen Elizabeth III of Manticore, both Third Generation) complained that it took them much longer than normal to break out of their awkward adolescent stage. (HH1, HH10)
The first generation of prolong slowed the aging process at early middle age. The treatment had varying effects depending on the recipient's genetic makeup. (HH1) This treatment became available to the Star Kingdom of Manticore in the early 19th Century PD (likely after 1830 PD), with King Roger III being the first Manticoran Monarch to receive the treatment.
The second generation both increased longevity as well as slowed the aging process in the mid to late 20s. This generation also removed much of the varying effectiveness. (HH1) The treatment was available on Beowulf before 1840 PD as Allison Chou Harrington was a Second-Generation Prolong recipient. (HH2)
In 1900 PD, the newest generation of aging treatments was the third generation. It improved on the longevity of the second generation as well as slowed the aging process in the early 20s. This prolong treatment worked universally well. Honor Harrington was one of the earliest Manticoran citizens to receive the Third-Generation treatment. (HH1)
- The right to receive the prolong treatment was a fundamental part of the Imperial Manticoran Constitution.
- This may imply the third generation treatment became available to the Star Kingdom of Manticore around 1860 PD, but it is possible Harrington was treated on Beowulf by her mother's family.