TECH

Sex In Space Needs To Be Studied Urgently, Says Scientist

'It is a real concern'.

14/06/2017 10:45

We’ve all heard about the mile high club, but now an expert has claimed that we need to start thinking about sex much further away from Earth too.

On a recent Atlantic Live panel, Assistant Professor Kris Lehnhardt, from George Washington University, described sex in space as a “real concern” and one that humans have not addressed to date.

There are many things that humans need to prepare for before attempting long-duration space travel, such as a mission to Mars.

For example, how to combat the effects of radiation, how to keep themselves nutritionally sustained and how to maintain good psychological wellbeing.

But Lehnhardt says that there is something we are missing. He told the live audience: “Something we really don’t know about is human reproduction in space.”

In the past, on shorter missions that only take a matter of months, this was not a concern for space agencies, but if we have aspirations for colonisation, research needs to happen.

Lehnhardt said: “If we’re talking about colonisation, there’s a key component to colonisation that makes it possible and that is having babies and this is something we have frankly never studied.

“If we want to become a spacefaring species and live in space permanently this is a crucial issue we need to address that has not been fully studied yet.”

It was only last month that researchers successfully bred a litter of mice pups using sperm that was frozen and then stored at the International Space Station (ISS).

The scientists behind the experiment said that the ability to successfully store, and then transport sperm from space back to Earth could become useful during the “space age” when humans are exploring the wider solar system with ease.

The Japanese team have even suggested that it could lead to the first ‘lunar sperm bank’ allowing humanity to store samples on the Moon to safeguard it should a natural or manmade disaster take place on Earth.

Marc Ward/Stocktrek Images via Getty Images
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