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Space Science

NASA Puts A Stop To Space Romance 431

Posted by Zonk
from the heinlein-rolling-in-his-grave dept.
electro-donkey writes "According to a New Scientist article, romantic entanglements among astronauts could derail long-haul space trips. A top-level NASA panel has decided, though it could alleviate boredom, space sex could cause trouble too. On a mission to Mars, for example, which would take up to 30 months, sexual conflict or infidelity could lead to a 'breakdown in crew functioning'."
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NASA Puts A Stop To Space Romance

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  • Geez... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ratnerstar (609443) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:22AM (#13851266) Homepage
    No space sex? Why the hell am I wasting my time at astronaut school, then?!
    • Re:Geez... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 22, 2005 @05:06AM (#13851398)
      No space sex?

      TFA (yeah, I read it) doesn't say anything about banning space sex. That's something made up for the Slashdot headline.

      The first paragraph of the article sums it up pretty well "Sex and romantic entanglements among astronauts could derail missions to Mars and should therefore be studied by NASA, warns a top-level panel of US researchers."

      So a panel of researchers want to 'study' sex and romantic entaglements. Nice work if you can get it, but no 'ban' implied.

      First actually-read-the-article post.
      • by MooseByte (751829) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @11:50AM (#13852537)

        "Sex and romantic entanglements among astronauts could derail missions to Mars and should therefore be studied by NASA, warns a top-level panel of US researchers."

        So in reality we've got a top-level panel of US researches who are tantalizingly close to achieving the ultimate Holy Grail - pursuing workplace sex, romantic entanglements and porn in the name of "research".

        Godspeed lads, godspeed.

    • Re:Geez... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @08:10AM (#13851802) Homepage
      This should be modded Insightful. If space sex were mandatory, we'd be on Alpha Centauri by now.
  • by Mori Chu (737710) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:23AM (#13851267)
    Haven't these people seen Star Trek? Kirk did it with every green woman in space, and that crew turned out fine...
    • Yes but Kird never did it with McCoy or Spock or Ensign Rand. That's the important part. NASA isn't banning interspecial sex, just sex among the crew (what NASA will do if it decides to send George Bus^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H a moneky along with the human crew is anyones guess). After all, look at Tasha and Data. He has sex with her one time, and that's it she's all like "yeah I wanna leave now. Can I get killed off or something?"

      And also look at Neelix and Kes. He is a pedophile (she wasn't even 10 years old!)
      • by some guy I know (229718) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @06:10AM (#13851531) Homepage
        You're forgetting the pilot and first officer of Serenity.
        (You know, that blonde geeky guy and the hot chick from Cleopatra 2525.)
        They're married and get it on regularly (it seems), but the only conflict that I've seen them have is that he sometimes gets jealous of the relationship between his wife and the captain, and she wants a kid but he doesn't.
        Also, Serenity is a small ship with a small crew, and no holodeck, replicators, or transporters.

        All in all, Firefly seems to be a much closer match to what an actual Mars mission would be like, in terms of technology and the size of the ship and crew, than the various Star Trek scenarios.

        Well, except for the artificial gravity.

        And the hooker.
      • by 1u3hr (530656) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @07:22AM (#13851678)
        NASA isn't banning interspecial sex, just sex among the crew

        To be serious for a moment, no one seems to have read TFA. The Slashdot heading is false. TFA says nothing about "banning" sex, just that it is a subject that has been ignored but must be studied in planning long missions.

        Now returning you to your scheduled program of sniggering jokes....

      • by Xyrus (755017) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @08:41AM (#13851889) Journal
        We'll by the time they can do a mission to Mars, the solution will be present:

        Virtual Valerie, a fully interactive holographic sex goddess. You want three boobs, you get three boobs.

        For the women, from what I hear, they're happy just with this thing called a "Rabbit" right now.

        ~X~
      • Oh, ha ha ha. You called George Bush a monkey. How witty and original.

        -ccm

    • Yeah, and then consider how freaky Spock is to be around when he's not 'regular'.
  • Being an astronaut is about to swiftly leave the number one spot on the "cool careers" list for most people.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:24AM (#13851270)
    they will be reading Slashdot. It's the only medicine for 30 months without sex.
  • Easy one (Score:5, Funny)

    by RedLaggedTeut (216304) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:24AM (#13851272) Homepage Journal
    Just send a married couple, two gays, two lesbians, the Pope and Darl McBride on the mission.

    Since no one loves Darl, and the Pope loves everyone but does not have sex, relationships are stable.
  • by BottleCup (691335) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:25AM (#13851274) Homepage

    In a mission to Mars, for example, which would take up to 30 months, sexual conflict or infidelity could lead to a 'breakdown in crew functioning'.

    30 months??? Who the heck can function properly without sex for 30 months?

    • by FooGoo (98336) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:31AM (#13851297)
      As a married man...I can tell you it is possible although I wouldn't recommend it.
    • by sznupi (719324) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:36AM (#13851311) Homepage
      The one in who the sex isn't a bit "disfunctional". When the sex is concious, when it serves itself and not releasing of stress/coping with todays world (yeah, when it doesn't have neurotic background) one can be perfectly fine without it.

      Trust me, NASA will find skilled enough psychologists to determine if candidates for Mars mission are up to the job in this regard.
      • Trust me, NASA will find skilled enough psychologists to determine if candidates for Mars mission are up to the job in this regard.

        They better not use Australian psychologists, otherwise they'll just use Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy [slashdot.org] as a guide. After all, Australian policemen use CSI to look for tips in solving crimes (I am not kidding).
    • by aussie_a (778472) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:45AM (#13851339) Journal
      Who the heck can function properly without sex for 30 months?

      Well slashdotters are able to function properly without sex for 30 years... oh wait.

      Living in parents basement: Check
      Anti-social behaviour: Check
      Radical beliefs: Check
      Terrorist activities: Check


      Hmmm, I guess even slashdotters can't function properly without sex for 30 months (which explains a lot).
    • 30? Pish. I'm approaching 168 months without sex, and still functioning perfe- GNYAAAAHHH! AAARGHHHH!

      Ahem. So, where do I sign up for this Mars thing?

    • GROUND CONTROL: Ah, Mars One, we just wanted to check whether you folks have been, ah, following the policy against sex, over.

      (five-minute delay while the signal propagates to the spacecraft at the speed of light, and then another five-minute delay while the reply makes its way back to Earth)

      MARS ONE: Ah, roger that, Houston. We're following that policy.

  • Employ Me (Score:5, Funny)

    by thedogcow (694111) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:26AM (#13851278)
    I am offering my services to NASA. As a true geek (obvious by reading Slashdot at 8:30Z) I would stick to the pure sciences of the mission and clearly state now that I not interested in sex by any means. Who needs sex when you have zero gravity anywho!
  • by Mysteretp (735556)
    This sounds prelude to state sponsored wacking off. Does NASA provide the pron? I'm waiting for that next announcement with them saying they do support flogging the dolphin.
    • It doesn't matter what kind of sex it is if you need it to function. And this will put you right out of the waiting line for the mission.
  • Nothing new (Score:2, Funny)

    by flamearrows (821733)
    30 months? Nothing the slashdot crowd ain't used to, then
  • From TFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by putko (753330) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:29AM (#13851289) Homepage Journal
    Fine to make such a well-considered policy -- but if the astronauts are like these brutes, they'll ignore the rules and revert to their natural behavior:

    "Sexual harassment may also endanger a mission. In an 8-month space station simulation on Earth in 2000, a Russian man twice tried to kiss a Canadian woman researcher just after two other Russians had gotten into a bloody brawl. As a result, locks were installed between the Russian and international crews' compartments."
    • More water for Sergy, less vodka.
    • Well, send an all female crew.

      Granted, the relationships between them will keep the Ramsey theorists scratching their heads for years, but women seem to be able to stroll around with this stuff in their head without having to stop and mutter to themselves.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:30AM (#13851292)
    Ensure that every member is a complete slut.
  • Or... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vectorian798 (792613) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:30AM (#13851293)
    ...it could increase productivity because in the barren Martian landscape we would still have some sign of humanity around to keep us going.

    "One could perhaps select for people who seem to have less need for sex, or at least don't use sex as a form of self-validation", a quote from some random psychologist not part of the NASA board, but happens to be quoted in this article (seriously...do journalists just accept anything that agrees with their news titles as evidence?).

    Heh sex is a major part of all forms of life...why paint it in such a light. This is like moral judgement.

    There is validity to both sides (free choice versus disruption of work), but I don't think personal matters should be part of NASA's decisions...it just seems to be outside of their jursidiction, if you will, especially on long-haul missions where astronauts are away from other human beings for long periods of time.
    • but I don't think personal matters should be part of NASA's decisions...it just seems to be outside of their jursidiction, if you will, especially on long-haul missions where astronauts are away from other human beings for long periods of time.

      Oh by all means. NASA should just hire any fertile sluts they can find, having sex on a 30month mission won't be a problem. Nope. Humans stay pregnant for 31 months don't they?
      • They'll cover how to use condoms in the in flight training video right after they explain how to strap on seat belts.

        While I'm a guy, if I were headed into outer space for 31 months I'd want to be on the pill. At least so I could keep everything regular and predictable.

        If they're worried about sexual harrassment, they should send married couples. That'd make sense.
    • Heh sex is a major part of all forms of life...why paint it in such a light. This is like moral judgement.

      Did you know that the military won't take you if you're the sole provider of an infant, and that if you become the sole provider due to divorce or death, you need to arrange for someone to instantly take your child or you're booted out?

      Did you know that military officers can be ordered to stop having affairs?

      Moral judgements are part of life. The government WILL cast moral judgement upon you when you g
  • by Mori Chu (737710) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:32AM (#13851302)
    At least you'd have privacy for the moment of climax. In space, no one can hear you scream...
  • "How do you have sex in weightlessness?"

    I believe you need a third dolphin.
  • by Mori Chu (737710) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:35AM (#13851308)
    Out-of-this-world sex could jeopardise missions
    What if the men promise to do a mediocre job of it instead?
  • So, lets say that you decide to violate the NASA no-sex regulations in the middle of a Mission to Mars... what do they do? Tell you to get off the ship?

    Adolfo
  • That's not going to lead to any grouchiness at all.
  • by qualico (731143)
    How can I tactfully ask this?
    nevermind, I'll be point blank...

    So are you allowed to jerk off?

    Sick I know, but imagine this stuff floating around in zero G.
    Forget I said that...better *ban* this activity also.

    *sigh* There go my dreams of Mars.
    • Of course, wet dreams will still be a problem.

      Nobody seems to have asked what the current rules are, especially on the ISS where crews have to deal without human contact for months at a time.
  • Hey baby, want to join the 238,857-mile-high [wikipedia.org] club?
    • Hey baby...
      • can I try to guess your mass?
      • those boots look great with that jet-pack
      • that NASA uniform looks good on you, but it would look better floating around empty in my bed chamber
      • can I get you another cup of tang?
      • I like how you always keep the cabin properly pressurized. It reminds me so much of my mother
      • Is the Hubble telescope pointed at this vessel? (Why?) Because I feel like I'm *very* close to you [this one could use some work]
      • Are you sure your suit is shielding gamma-rays prope
  • I assume the problem isn't the sex itself, but the potential end result.. Just let them stock up on RU486 and all is well!
  • In space (Score:2, Funny)

    no one can hear you go "uuuuuunnnnngggggghhhhh".
  • by Rxke (644923) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:44AM (#13851335) Homepage
    Nothing in the article suggest they will put a stop on it.

    It's just another overgeneral article about pro's and cons of relationships on long missions, and some examples.

    Oh, and they're going to stuy it some more...

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  • by tcatt (832763) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:45AM (#13851338)
    Heck, NASA thinks they're so smart. If they we really thinking they would realize that a trip to mars with 8 crew members along with all the so-called 'infedelity' and 'intense relationships' is a perfect chance to corner the reality TV market!

    They'd be killing all their birds with one stone, for pete's sake. Huge media coverage, lucrative advertising sponsorships... man NASA would be overfunded and popular again for the first time since the 60's. C'mon NASA, give America what it really wants!

    They could call it "Pigs in Space" or wait.. yeah that one was taken. Too bad it's a classic.

    "Vote 'em off the shuttle!"

  • Though God help me for quoting a movie as a reference - it had a discussion about how married couples were considered more stable for long flights in space. Though they didn't say that married couples doing it in space was better.

    But apparently this is a serious problem - read the part about couple of russian astronauts made a pass at a canadian chick.

    There are real problems to dealt with, firstly the pulse rate is monitored. Secondly, you DO not want a prophylactic failure in space. More importantly you wa
    • There's only one kind of sexual release which doesn't include jealousy or partners as a standard component

      And just how popular do you think that will make you in a zero gravity environment? Yeewwww!

    • There's only one kind of sexual release which doesn't include jealousy or partners as a standard component

      True. But are they really going to let them fire shotguns while they're on the shuttle?
  • by rusty0101 (565565) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @05:02AM (#13851388) Homepage Journal
    ... in 'Stranger in a Strange Land.' I would have thought that the issues would have been well understood.

    I think it would also be understood that as long as you have a mixed gender group of people together for an extended period of time, there isn't a lot you can do to prevent it either.

    Valentine Smith.

    -Rusty
  • See, I think I'd argue that they should be pushing for the exact opposite. I mean, honestly, if I had to spend 30 months with someone, I'd rather they'd be so into free love that chewbacca would get 'em going (and I mean, how can he not?).

    I'd rather have the sluttle shuttle rather than a no-fun-nun-run.

    Besides, just about *every* job disallows having sex at the office, it isn't like people who to do it don't ignore it anyways . . . Making rules that are just going to be ignored is stupid.
    • Besides, just about *every* job disallows having sex at the office, it isn't like people who to do it don't ignore it anyways . . . Making rules that are just going to be ignored is stupid.

      If you monitored your office mates heartrates 24-7, do you think that would change anything?

      Hmm. Looks like two people just decided to get an accelerated beat at the same time...
  • Meanwhile... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nobodyman (90587) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @05:07AM (#13851399) Homepage
    ...chunks of foam are still breaking off of the space shuttle and the heat shielding tiles need to be fixed via spacewalks. Fortunately, the agonizing decision as to whether astronauts should have sex has been laid to rest. Thank goodness, because I was beginning to think that NASA had lost its focus!

    Honestly, I'd tell this panel to go fsck themselves, but they can't now anyway... right?
  • Married couple (Score:3, Interesting)

    by photonic (584757) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @05:09AM (#13851406)
    Well at least one married couple [nasa.gov] has flown on the space shuttle. If an experiment was ever performed they would be the prime candidates, so go ask them.

    I also heard a story of a pair on a shuttle having a relation and getting married shortly after the flight. Apparently NASA wasn't told before and was not happy. (Might have been the same couple.) And of course the rumours that some Russkies sacrificed themselves for science. I can't find a reference for both stories unfortunately.

  • What is worse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by atlep (36041) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @05:11AM (#13851411)
    What is worse than 30 months without sex? 30 months in a small closed environment, where others have sex, but you don't get any.

    Man, that would get me frustrated beyond reason. And the realisation of this is why I understand why NASA is doing this.

    Actually, 30 months without sex, I think I could do it if I were on such a mission. Because I would be mentally prepared for this. I know the other crewmembers are not having sex either. And the sex fixation in our siciety would not be there on a daily basis. Of course, I would expect periods of frustration. But I don't think it would be a major problem.

    When there is no potential for sex, when there is no constant reminder of sex around you, it is much easier to live without it. But if others in your crew are having sex, and you don't get any. That would really make things difficult.

    Of course, drugs that temporary kill libido would be very welcome too.
    • 60 months with out sex.

      It's called grad school. You don't have sleep either. I think that most of the scientists aboard such space missions are quite used to not getting laid, and the adaptation to life without sleep is probably beneficial in space as well.
  • by Adammil2000 (797026) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @05:19AM (#13851431)
    No matter how weird things get, the air will clear when ground control calls to remind the crew, "if you miss the timing on this deorbit burn, you're all going to burn to death."

    No Earth-based station simulation is going to completely capture the urgency of real space travel.
  • ...and will provide lucrative funding, too.

    "And now, live from the Big Brother Space Capsule..."

  • On a mission to Mars, for example, which would take up to 30 months, sexual conflict or infidelity could lead to a 'breakdown in crew functioning'."

    ...and the birth of Valentine Michael Smith.

  • (Link Not Work/Children Safe) The real reason they're putting a stop to it. [pbfcomics.com]
  • NASA said no sex with fellow crew members, so i guess they'll be flying about in the hope that some UFO comes find them to give a good old probing!
  • Also during a 30 month mission, a baby could be carried to full term... which is another mouth to feed... and a strain on the food rations.

    And who knows what complications there could be for the baby, being born in 0G?
  • Noone feels left out and if they've lived together for years before on earth there's no reason to assume they're going to break down during flight either.
    I'm completely serious btw.
  • hopelessly flawed. First they missmanage and over use an inefficiant air/spaceframe design. During which they get two crews killed needlessly. They have ignored repeated warnings from the manufacturer on one incident. They lose/destroy multiple multimillion dollar probes. Commission needless studies that in this case even duplicate earlier efforts. And just when I think that they have run out of stupidity they start the magnum project, and pursue hyper x as space transport.

    The magnum project is sup
    • hopelessly flawed. First they missmanage and over use an inefficiant air/spaceframe design. During which they get two crews killed needlessly.

      Blame the air force and a lack of budget for that one.

      Meanwhile the Russians have a nice reusable space vehicle called Energia. In its Vulcan config it can lift up to 175 tons and has been sucessfully launched with a good safety record (so far).

      You mean the one which was sent up TWICE, and only managed to get something into orbit once. Yeah, great and extensive track
  • Such as making the shuttle safer or possibly creating a replacement system? Is this what NASA worries about?

    GJC
  • Damn, where's the problem - just populate the ship with a collection of "swinger" couples - they'll bonk their partners AND the others no problem.

    Thus, everyone's getting it, there's none of that monogomous bullshit to get in the way (when the invetible "I like you're partner, dude!" happens) and so sex is just natural and fun. Wooo hoo.

    Of course, getting them to do any science, stay focussed, etc - well - that could be tricky....

    Mission Control: "Hey guys, it's time to do the orbital approach manouver....
  • by Hosiah (849792) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @08:22AM (#13851828)
    If we're actually going to hold back the most ambitious achievement of human history based on some Dark Ages puritanism, lets just sell the shuttle to France or some damn thing and forget about science, period. I mean, how are they planning to enforce this? Lock chastity belts on the astronauts before they launch? And did they get the idea that sex and space travel don't mix from seeing that episode where Spock flipped out during "pon farr"?

    How did the nation that BUILT the space shuttle get THIS stupid THIS fast? I want my tax dollars back!

    • To be fair, it's not "Dark Ages puritanism" - it's more like not mixing work and personal life. There are a number of ways in which sex in space could make interaction between crew members very awkward, which would in turn make the whole crew less efficient, which could be dangerous and costly. Plus, can you imagine what would happen if whatever method of birth control they're using failed? Hopefully they'd be smart enough to get permenantly sterilized before trying something like that, but if not it cou
  • by defile (1059) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @09:16AM (#13851987) Homepage Journal
    is FORBIDDEN space sex
  • solution (Score:5, Funny)

    by labyrinth (65992) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @09:53AM (#13852121)
    I think NASA should adopt the Dr.Strangelove solution.

    General "Buck" Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?

    Dr. Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious... service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature. Ambassador de Sadesky: I must confess, you have an astonishingly good idea there, Doctor.

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

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