What would sex in space be like? It’s an intriguing question that US based researcher Maggie Koerth-Baker set out to ask in a new hypothetical video. Based around this largely ignored area of science, Koerth-Baker came across many hurdles in her findings.
Taking into account the ever increasing chances of human expeditions to Mars thanks to projects such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX, we should really be considering the long term implications of our ability or inability to reproduce up there. An expedition to Mars takes around 21 months, so it is reasonable to wonder if human life can continue as normal in space conditions, especially if we are hoping to be able to actually inhabit the planet at some point.
According to NASA, no humans have ever had sex in space, despite astronauts Mark Lee and Jan Davis sneakily marrying before their joint mission in 1992. The research into this possibility has so far been limited, for various reasons. So far, the main impetus for space exploration has not been human settlement, therefore the idea of procreation has not been a priority. There have been reproductive experiments with five species, from amoeba to rats, with little success. The results would suggest that some of the environmental factors in space aren’t great for making babies. For example, the great levels of radiation that we are usually shielded from on Earth, can cause human bodies damage leading to genetic mutations. In addition, in the tested animals, microgravity seems to have an adverse effect on both sperm production and the menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, due to the fact that a shockingly low 11% of astronauts that have been to space are women means that we have had little chance to truly explore the effects of space on female humans in this respect.
If we are on track to make long-duration space flight a possibility for many, we need to start investing in research to protect the health of space travellers. The more realistic it becomes, the more people will want to know about what life on Mars looks like, sex included.
Watch video below: