Space Sex Could Prove Difficult When Traveling to the Stars
October 3, 2011 11:16 AM
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A lack of gravity could prevent interstellar travelers from reproducing, which is vital to successfully making it to their destination 4 light-years away
Traveling to another star introduces a list of potential problems. One major issue is that the closest star is 4 light-years away, where one light-year is equal to 6 trillion miles. Such a journey could take decades to centuries to complete, meaning the humans aboard would have to procreate, but experts say space sex is just another bullet point on the list of possible hindrances associated with the voyage to the stars.
The problem with
is the lack of gravity, according to Athena Andreadis, biologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
"Sex is very difficult in zero gravity, apparently, because you have no traction and you keep bumping against the walls," said Andreadis. "Think about it: You have no friction, you have no resistance."
After sex, there's the birthing process to think about. According to Andreadis, giving birth in zero gravity would be "hell" because gravity and the weight of the baby help the process along.
Microgravity has been known to have negative
effects on the human body
over time, such as impaired vision, atrophying muscles, reduced blood volume and diminished bone mineral. If microgravity can have such effects on the human body, it could likely harm a fetus or cause birth defects.
Dan Buckland, an MIT researcher who spoke on the topic of space sex and traveling to the stars at the 100-Year Starship Symposium, said that it is currently unknown what gravity has to do with
and birth in space, but large starships with the ability to simulate gravity onboard that is also self-sustainable for such a long journey would be required.
While we are far from even that sort of technological development, there is yet another challenge even further ahead in the future if humans were to travel to a star: finding a
Experts say other habitable planets will unlikely mimic Earth, hence, the human settlers would need to live in a dome with an Earth-like biosphere or terraforming the planet as a whole, which is terribly difficult. Terraforming is the process of modifying a planet's atmosphere, temperature, ecology or surface topography in order to make it more similar to Earth.
"Not only are we bad at terraforming, but we don't have the life span or the attention span to carry it through," said Andreadis. "Terraforming is a failure of the imagination. It's like people who take those expensive trips to Paris and eat at McDonald's."
Andreadis even mentioned genetically engineering humans to make it so they can journey to a star and live on another planet without complications, but this raises ethical issues of creating an entirely different second species of human.
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Athena Andreadis Is Supposedly Fit To Assess This?
10/4/2011 1:51:30 AM
If you can push your willie in and out of your space suit zipper, you have succeeded in the basic motion required for sexual stimulation. Traction and friction against room objects is not needed.
Gravity is NOT a factor in childbirth, the mother's muscle squeeze the baby out, it doen't just fall out if a woman is standing upright and for that matter we don't generally have children standing upright these days. On the contrary, some women opt to give birth in water.
The only real issues are the development of the fetus and child in the low to no gravity state, whether it would ever be able to leave space and exist on a planet with gravity unless it had been subjected to comprehensive stresses designed to make muscle and bone tolerant... and yet, we could say the same about earthlings in general, just because we "might" someday find an inhabitable planet, that doesn't necessarily mean that after floating there in space we would magically have adapted to whatever the change in gravity might be.
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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