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James Bond and Dr. Goodhead perform zero-g docking manuevers in the movie "Moonraker"  (Source: United Artists)
Space sex has a long way to go before it gets off the ground

Looking to penetrate deep into realms where scientists seldom explore, NASA biophysicist Tore Straume [profile] (Ames Research Center), radiation expert and particle physicist Steve Blattnig (Langley Research Center), and Cary Zeitlin [profile] (Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory), explored the logistics of sex and procreation in space.  Their conclusions?  It would be hard -- very hard.

Would-be space colonists looking to procreate in space would have it very rough, according to the report.  One of the biggest dangers would be from cosmic rays.

The high-energy protons encountered in deep space could harm male sperm.  They would also likely sterilize any human fetuses conceived in space.  The embryo would likely die during the second half of the pregnancy from these rays.

The only solution would be to adopt better protection, but mankind doesn't currently have a sufficient technology.  States Dr. Straume, "The present shielding capabilities would probably preclude having a pregnancy transited to Mars."

An even greater danger would be solar flares.  Solar flares are giant squirts of matter and energy from the sun during periods of intensely hot solar activity. These solar events would likely bombard the space explorers with even more radiation, raising their risk of miscarriage and infertility.

Also dangerous are high-energy cosmic rays that can travel millions of light years and carry tremendous energy.  Without a way to block these damaging particles, they would likely pass through the spaceship, further damaging the astronauts’ gonads.

When it comes to solar shielding, it appears scientists still have trouble getting it up to speed.  

It is unclear whether anyone has ever had sex in space.  NASA and the Soviety space agency never revealed whether they conducted tests into orbital procreation.  They have what is commonly referred to as "relationships of trust" when it comes to relations between astronauts.  One astronaut husband and wife -- Jan Davis and Mark Lee -- did share a flight together, but NASA and the astronauts would not reveal whether they got their stellar groove on.

Aside from the radiation dangers, given how hard it is to move in space, it might be hard to perform sex in a traditional manner.  But mankind has never had problems getting creative in the sack, so surely life would find a way.

The research is significant as many prominent scientific luminaries, like Steven Hawking, believe that without colonizing other worlds, mankind will likely go extinct within a few million years.

The study on sex in space was published in the peer-reviewed publication, The Journal of Cosmology and is available for free here.



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Awesome Title...
By theArchMichael on 2/14/2011 10:58:51 AM , Rating: 5
There's a lot of criticism for bad titles around here... but this should make anybody's 'best of' list.




RE: Awesome Title...
By Motoman on 2/14/2011 10:58:40 AM , Rating: 2
I was just thinking that...isn't being hard kind of a requirement for it to work - in space, or elsewhere?


RE: Awesome Title...
By solarrocker on 2/14/2011 10:58:46 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Say it Will be Hard


Giggity Giggity


RE: Awesome Title...
By quiksilvr on 2/14/2011 1:10:29 PM , Rating: 4
RE: Awesome Title...
By GeekWithFire on 2/14/2011 11:09:28 AM , Rating: 3
"That's what she said" - Michael Scott

The problem with "boom boom chick" titles is, will anyone actually read the article?


RE: Awesome Title...
By Meinolf on 2/14/2011 1:36:19 PM , Rating: 3
Say it Will be Hard, That's what she said


RE: Awesome Title...
By sprockkets on 2/14/2011 3:18:29 PM , Rating: 4
"I believe he's attempting re-entry sir."

:)


RE: Awesome Title...
By sleepeeg3 on 2/14/2011 3:05:30 PM , Rating: 3
I am definitely more amused to discover there was a Bond girl named "Dr. Goodhead"


RE: Awesome Title...
By BZDTemp on 2/14/2011 3:56:31 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, it is just one of many names like that. It is sort of a tradition.


RE: Awesome Title...
By Alexvrb on 2/14/2011 7:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah and Austin Powers has a lot of respect for that tradition too!


RE: Awesome Title...
By Camikazi on 2/15/2011 10:53:29 AM , Rating: 3
Bond girl names are interesting, Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead, Xenia Onatopp, Plenty O'Toole and Honey Ryder are my favorites :)


RE: Awesome Title...
By mmatis on 2/17/2011 2:16:37 PM , Rating: 2
But they don't seem to have a Rachel MadCow yet...


innuendos galore
By Secretary of LOL on 2/14/2011 11:46:33 AM , Rating: 3
"penetrate deep"
"It would be hard -- very hard."

giggity

"giant squirts of matter"
"When it comes to solar shielding, it appears scientists still have trouble getting it up"

awriight




RE: innuendos galore
By petpeeve on 2/14/2011 1:34:19 PM , Rating: 2
Missed one:

"The only solution would be to adopt better protection.."


RE: innuendos galore
By fictisiousname on 2/14/2011 3:43:50 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine the issues with the Shuttle Stability control system while a full crew of Astronauts have sex, just for "research" 8-}


RE: innuendos galore
By Murloc on 2/14/2011 4:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
also, you cut a part: penetrate deep into realms where scientists seldom explore

the pun is not just penetrate deep, but also the fact that scientists (and engineers) seldom explore it.


RE: innuendos galore
By brundall on 2/14/2011 7:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
I am certainly surprised that Jason Mick did not squeeze Uranus into his report.


RE: innuendos galore
By rudolphna on 2/15/2011 1:33:42 AM , Rating: 3
Really, commander........?

Probing Uranus....

;)


RE: innuendos galore
By marvdmartian on 2/15/2011 9:47:53 AM , Rating: 1
Hopefully without finding any Klingons lurking about!! ;)


RE: innuendos galore
By rudolphna on 2/15/2011 2:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
Reference fail lol.

E.D.I. From Mass effect 2.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6rtQ0-ez4g


RE: innuendos galore
By SilverMirage on 2/18/2011 9:05:11 AM , Rating: 2
"Solar flares are giant squirts of matter and energy from the sun during periods of intensely hot solar activity"


Sounds to me...
By DEVGRU on 2/14/2011 11:20:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also dangerous are high-energy cosmic rays that can travel millions of light years and carry tremendous energy. Without a way to block these damaging particles, they would likely pass through the spaceship, further damaging the astronauts’ gonads.


...Like the perfect plotline for the first real Superhero's, cosmically altered DNA, and viola! The X-Men are born!




RE: Sounds to me...
By rdeegvainl on 2/14/2011 2:55:05 PM , Rating: 3
I think im stepping dangerously deep into the nerd pool, but, the x men are mutants. They are from "natural" evolution of humans. Things like solar rays and whatnot would make the baby a meta-human. Though he would still qualify for all super hero benefits, such as membership on the Avengers, and a personalized arch enemy.


RE: Sounds to me...
By Chaser on 2/14/2011 6:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly! Not mutants. The FANTASTIC Four! You know. Sue, Reed, and the Thing? :)


RE: Sounds to me...
By Silver2k7 on 2/15/2011 1:39:10 AM , Rating: 2
The Fantastic 4 and Victor Von Doom, did mutate due to space radiation so sure they are mutants :)


RE: Sounds to me...
By Camikazi on 2/15/2011 10:58:22 AM , Rating: 2
Natural mutants and humans changed due to radiation or cosmic rays aren't the same :P

Is kind of like a natural athlete and one who uses steroids to be as good as a natural athlete, both can do the same things but they really aren't the same :P


Sterile Rocket Jockies
By psenechal on 2/14/2011 12:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
Sooo...what about our current crop of astronauts? Are they coming back from these shuttle missions with fertility problems from all the cosmic rays and solar flares they're being exposed to on their missions? That's got to be one helluva waiver they have to sign to go into space if it includes possible sterility as well.




RE: Sterile Rocket Jockies
By VoodooChicken on 2/14/2011 12:25:51 PM , Rating: 2
There's no terrestrial sex problems coming back to earth. I think they're saying there's potential sperm, eggs, and zygotes could die whilst in the exosphere, but not a permanent problem of sterility.


RE: Sterile Rocket Jockies
By bh192012 on 2/14/2011 1:06:36 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the article should clarify, since some of the issues they mention are not as much of an issue when in low earth orbit (protected by the magnetosphere) like the ISS. They're only a problem once you leave Earth orbit. So Apollo astronauts may have had fertillity issues, but not space shuttle astronauts as an example.

So maybe space station crews could make babies while orbiting magnetic planets, but not when flying over the poles or while in non-magnetically shielded space.


RE: Sterile Rocket Jockies
By marvdmartian on 2/15/2011 9:55:37 AM , Rating: 2
One of the things I remember most, from my days going through the navy's nuclear power training, was the day we were learning about the short term/long term effects of ionizing radiation on the human body.

They spoke of how at X number of rads, you would expect this effect on this percentage of people receiving it, etc, finally ending up with telling us that at 1000 rads exposure, you would expect 100% fatality rate. Then they asked for questions.

Of course, someone asked about the effect of ionizing radiation on human sperm (natural, since we were a class of young men). They told us that short term exposure of 1500 rads had proven to effectively kill human sperm, but that we wouldn't have to worry about that...... since it was 1-1/2 times as much exposure as what it would take to kill us!

Human fetuses in the womb, however, are a different story. I don't remember exact figures, but it's a fraction of a percent of exposure to cause irreperable genetic damage to the cells of a fetus, and their threshold for fatality is much lower too. That's why female sailors, currently in the navy's nuclear power program, are required to report pregnancies as soon as they are aware of it (or even expect it), and are immediately removed from any work that would expose them to ionizing radiation.


umm
By Drag0nFire on 2/14/2011 11:26:42 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
One astronaut husband and wife -- Jan Davis and Mark Lee -- did share a flight together, but NASA and the astronauts would not reveal whether they got their stellar groove on.


I sure hope they did. Because that would be quite the lost opportunity otherwise...




RE: umm
By Camikazi on 2/15/2011 11:00:46 AM , Rating: 2
Talk about Mile High Club :)


Lol Mic
By Sazabi19 on 2/14/2011 1:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Looking to penetrate deep into realms where scientists seldom explore
quote:


Awesome first part of the sentence.




RE: Lol Mic
By Sazabi19 on 2/14/2011 1:16:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
giant squirts of matter and energy
quote:

Seriously man, your just playing on it now XD


RE: Lol Mic
By HypocriteWatch on 2/14/2011 3:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
"Without a way to block these damaging particles, they would likely pass through the spaceship, further damaging the astronauts’ gonads."

Yeah, cut it out!


Mystery solved!
By CZroe on 2/14/2011 12:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
I expect this to be the next headline: "By studying the effects of weightlessness on sex and pregnancy, researchers finally stumbled on evidence conclusively linking sex and pregnancy."




RE: Mystery solved!
By rcc on 2/14/2011 4:17:39 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, researchers are good at finding those difficult relationships.

For instance. Did you know that the leading cause of divorce is marriage?


Sex = Procreation ?
By BrightMoon on 2/14/2011 11:24:42 AM , Rating: 2
There isn't anything about sex in this research, only procreation. A better headline would be "Research Says Space Pregnancies Unlikely", but it probably would not get as many views...




RE: Sex = Procreation ?
By theapparition on 2/14/2011 11:32:30 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I read the same article, 3 days ago.


on a more serious note
By zmatt on 2/14/2011 4:51:06 PM , Rating: 3
depending on where in space you are procreating I think this is a moot point. Considering how difficult terraforming would be I would imagine our first space colonization would be at Lagrangian points. L2 is at least partially protected by Earth from cosmic rays and O'Neill island 3 types would hypothetically offer plenty of protection from it's own large mass of air and polarized glass panes.




get the vacuum
By TechIsGr8 on 2/14/2011 12:38:34 PM , Rating: 2
Morning sickness is gonna be a b1tch up there...




Welcome to my spaceship
By tech4tac on 2/14/2011 12:40:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's long and hard and full of se... Hmmm, I guess it will be hard... VERY HARD!

giggity giggity




HerpDerp
By TheSev on 2/14/2011 1:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
Practice safe space sex! Use a cosmic ray shielded shuttle!

. . . Doesn't have the same ring to it.




Just for the record
By InternetGeek on 2/14/2011 4:23:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to commend the thoroughness of the research team who are studying all options in this important manner... even the non-conventional ones such as 2men vs 1 woman.

quote:
Looking to penetrate deep into realms where scientists seldom explore, NASA biophysicist Tore Straume [profile] (Ames Research Center), radiation expert and particle physicist Steve Blattnig (Langley Research Center), and Cary Zeitlin [profile] (Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory), explored the logistics of sex and procreation in space. Their conclusions? It would be hard -- very hard.


quote:
Aside from the radiation dangers, given how hard it is to move in space, it might be hard to perform sex in a traditional manner. But mankind has never had problems getting creative in the sack, so surely life would find a way.




Space Kamasutra?
By RedemptionAD on 2/14/2011 5:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
TROJAN COMMERCIAL: camera is zoomed on a folded space suit and a Trojan condom *Guy and women giggle sounds* oh baby, I'd better put my ray gun in its holster before I blast some cosmic rays.
Scene Cuts out and voice goes TROJAN MAN!!




Rama
By Visual on 2/15/2011 4:34:12 AM , Rating: 2
It is high time they make a rotating section on the ISS to simulate gravity with centrifugal force. They need to hurry it up and have it open before 9 months, if they already did their sex-in-space experiment.




Hardly ...
By DatabaseMX on 2/15/2011 5:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
Would it be hard with Phyllis Diller ?




By jabber on 2/16/2011 12:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
Well yes thats pretty much a certainty.

In a few million years hopefully we may have evolved beyond Homo Sapiens.

If beings from Earth get out into the great wide universe, could well be that they are not "mankind" as we know it today.




This comes to mind
By maximal on 2/19/2011 2:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
"... and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

:)




russia
By kattanna on 2/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: russia
By Helbore on 2/18/2011 9:33:34 AM , Rating: 1
They wouldn't necessarily need females.


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