You know when you sleep with a new woman for the first time and it pretty much blows your mind, so you tell the guys it was “out of this world?” Well, scientists are now taking that a little too literally, as they begin to research whether or not its actually even possible to have sex in space. We have a couple questions for them…
But first, a little background on the study. Associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Kris Lenhardt explained that the study sought answers as to how our reproductive systems would adapt to the space environment. He also said: “If we actually want to go places, and we want to stay there—if we’re talking about colonization—there’s a key component to colonization that makes it possible, and that is having babies.” So, if we’re legit going to live in space some day, could we make babies there?
Previously, a group of scientists from Japan took freeze-dried mouse sperm and stored it on the ISS for nine months. They then unfroze it and were able to successfully inseminate female mice, showing that sperm can survive space radiation. That being said, it’s never been attempted on humans. But scientists want to try—which brings us to our questions:
Q: Um, gravity? Wouldn’t we be flying all over the room?
A: John Millis of Anderson University addresses that (very valid!) question by stating, “The first challenge is simply the result of moving about in near-zero gravity: Every push or thrust will propel the astronaut in the opposite direction.” Hold on tight, we guess?
Q: Still thinking about gravity, sex can be messy. How does clean-up work in space?
A: “Because of the micro-gravity environment, sweat and tears don’t run down the astronaut’s bodies like it does here on Earth, instead it pools like small ponds of fluid near where it was secreted,” Millis explained. “If the motion is vigorous enough it could be ejected from the surface of the body. This means that liquid would both be pooling on the body, especially where there is contact with the other person. Also, the more they moved, pools of liquid would be flying off around the couple.” Gross.
Q: Childbirth is even more messy (and complicated). How is that going to work?
A: No answer to that…
Q: Will giving birth in space impact how a baby looks or functions?
A: Yeah, no answer to that either.
Q: Is alien sex the future?
A: No answer, but you were thinking it, too!