What should we know about sex and procreation in space?

Making love and procreating in space, myth or reality? If the United States indicates that no astronaut has ever had sex in space, it turns out that procreation is not really a good idea because of cosmic radiation and the absence of gravity.

April 12, 2017 is International Human Spaceflight Day. This is an ideal opportunity to raise the question of sex in this hostile environment, a relevant question insofar as space conquest projects regularly evoke long journeys in space with the aim of colonizing other planets. .

Indeed, the United States wants to send manned missions to Mars for 2030 and SpaceX promises the first trip to this same planet in 2024. This shows that technically and financially, colonization projects are theoretically possible. The question of procreation does indeed arise, but the fact is that we still know very little about it!

According to an investigation by the Five Thirty Eight, there would never have been sex in space by American astronauts. So there is no evidence of a relationship in space, but the couple Jan Davis /Mark Lee who married in secret in 1992, could not be replaced to carry out flight STS-47 the same year . As for Russia, cosmonaut Svetlana Yevgenyevna Savitskaya claims to have had a relationship with one of her two teammates aboard the Salyut 7 space station launched in 1982.

Scientists on the International Space Station (ISS) conducted experiments and managed to mate five different animal species in space. The first was made in 1994 and featured medaks, a Southeast Asian fish that lives in rice fields. The fruit fly was less lucky and spent twice as long finding its mate as it did on Earth. The conclusion is there: the absence of gravity disorients the partners.

Prolonged stay in space has been shown to cause a drop in testosterone levels during prolonged stay in space. When we know that this hormone greatly contributes to the proper functioning of sexuality in men (but also women), there is cause for concern. This hormonal drop is due to the absence of gravity in space, but since it is a question of colonizing Mars, you should know that on this planet, gravity is only a third of that of Earth, it is still too few !

Other elements do not lean towards sex and procreation in space. Bad news for men, the absence of gravity reduces blood pressure in the lower limbs such as the feet, calves, thighs and therefore the penis. The absence of gravity would then impact the ability of the penis to become erect quite simply, because the latter comes to attention under the effect of the influx of blood. But that’s not all !

The question of the development of a fetus in microgravity is still a real enigma. There are also the cosmic radiations from which we are protected on Earth which bombard the DNA of space travelers and can lead to genetic alterations. These will be transmitted for sure from generation to generation within the framework of a colonization. Not reassuring!

Sources: Futura Sciences – Le Figaro

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