Sex in space hasn’t been given much serious attention by NASA. For now, it seems like a frivolous expenditure of tax dollars. Currently, the international space station is the only place in space with enough room for the act to happen. But it would be difficult for two people to get away from their busy work schedule to find the time. They would also have difficulty finding privacy as well.
However, if manned exploration of the planets is in our future, the topic will have to be addressed. There are two physical problems associated with sex in space. One is the mechanical difficulty of sex in a weightless environment. The other concerns the effects of weightlessness and radiation on a developing fetus.
The Mechanics Of Sex In Space
The first problem is Isaac Newton’s 3rd law of mechanics: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If you push on something, it pushes back. In short, it means the couple will have to be anchored to a wall and held together in some way. If not, they will be bouncing off of walls and each other. There is also the problem of sweat and heat buildup between both people. Given human ingenuity, some clever devices will no doubt be developed to overcome these problems.
The Biology Of Pregnancy In Space
This problem is the more serious and difficult of the two. We evolved to procreate in an environment with gravity. Studies of the effects of weightlessness on plant reproduction have shown that cell growth of a new plant becomes erratic and unstable. Russian studies of the effects of weightlessness on rat fetuses, have shown arrested development of the fetal skeleton. It is also known that the proper development of neural connections in a fetus require movement under gravity.
One solution to this problem, is the introduction of artificial gravity by spinning the space craft. One practical way to do this involves tethering the spacecraft to a counter weight and rotating the assembly like a baton.
Another hazard is that of radiation. One radiation type comes from the sun during solar storms. Practical shielding from it is possible. The other radiation type is called cosmic radiation which comes from the sun and other stars. This type of radiation is steady and constant. Shielding from it is impractical. It’s a well known fact that radiation is harmful to the human fetus.
One possible approach to solving the problem of cosmic radiation, is to artificially generate an electromagnetic field around the space craft that is similar to that which protects the earth.
There is talk of sending a married couple on a 501 day mission to mars in 2018. As long as the couple uses a form of contraception that works in a zero g environment, and a weightless love making method is worked out, there shouldn’t be a problem. If you are interested in more information about sex, please contact us.