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Mars NASA Space Science

Scientist Says NASA Must Study Space Sex 389

Velcroman1 writes "NASA has always been tight lipped on the subject of sex in space — which makes people all the more curious. How would it work? Has anyone done it before? Can a child be conceived in zero-G? With few animal tests (and virtually no human testing), there's been next to no scientific analysis of the issue. Until now. The Journal of Cosmology has published a special issue detailing the mission to Mars, which touches all the bases. In a chapter titled Sex on Mars, Dr. Rhawn Joseph from the Brain Research Laboratory in California discusses everything from the social conditions that would push astronauts to have sex to the possibility of the first child being born on another planet. Such an infant would be the first real Martian — at least by nationality, the researcher pointed out. 'On Mars, the light's going to be different, the gravity will be different, it's a completely different atmosphere,' he said. 'So if you put an infant on Mars, they would adapt to varying degrees of the new environment. And after several generations, you'd have a new species,' he said."
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Scientist Says NASA Must Study Space Sex

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  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @04:16AM (#34858844) Homepage

    It's not like "submerged in water" isn't a decent enough approximation (and in fact used by space agencies, but to model different stuff). It's not like humans aren't imaginative, if there's a possibility of some action... (even easier: send slashdotters, we'll do anything) Progress of the pregnancy is another issue of course.

    But you wouldn't have new species if there wasn't much of a selection. Not for the usual meaning of "several"

  • Not even then (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @05:02AM (#34859016)

    Speciation will not occur under (presumed) regular interbreeding with the population back home.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @05:12AM (#34859056)

    (Sorry, I'm not going to waste my cap on youtube so I don't know if ysth has answered this already.)

    1. You probably couldn't get a decent erection in microgravity. Your blood pressure would be too low.
    2. An embrio can't develop in microgravity.
    3. There are a multitude of medical problems involved with microgravity. A kid born there will never be strong enough to be brought back down temporarily. (Giving the body time to strengthen up before it takes another beating.)
    3. Lastly,

    When a woman orgasms,

    is a pretty big assumption ;)

  • Re:Several? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @05:13AM (#34859060)

    Speciation doesn't require selection pressure, it only requires that part of the population reproduces independently for sufficient generations. In the case of humans a generation is typically 20 or 25 years, and 'sufficient generations' depends on the size of the isolated population. Smaller populations drift genetically much faster than large, well-mixed populations. But several thousand generations would be needed as a minimum. So we're looking at somewhere in the region of 40 000 to 50 000 years or more for a new species of human to arise.

    Selection pressures cause genetic drift to move in particular directions rather than in random directions. They don't *cause* speciation though they do guide the kinds of change that take place.

    Hope that helps.

  • Re:Several? (Score:3, Informative)

    by CitizenCain ( 1209428 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @05:18AM (#34859098)

    For large values of several.

    Not to mention a non-standard definition of "species." As I seem to recall, the biological definition of "species" simply involves whether or not a male and female can create a sexually viable offspring. Hence, donkeys and horses are different species, because mules (what you get when mating a horse and a donkey) are sterile, but different breeds of dogs (or cats or horses or whatever) aren't considered different species because they do create offspring which create offspring and so on (have your pets spayed or neutered!)

    I'm really hoping the ESL author meant "race" instead of "species," because even after "large values of several," you'd probably still only end up with a race of Martian humans that are as different from us as our different racial groups are from each other - differences being mostly skin deep.

  • Re:Several? (Score:5, Informative)

    by asifyoucare ( 302582 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @06:29AM (#34859390)

    He is a native English speaker and he meant exactly what he said. Google him.

    He also suggests the world will end in 2012 as supposedly predicted by the Mayans, and a lot of other very dubious stuff.

    Like I said ...

  • Re:hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

    by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @10:11AM (#34860962)

    TCP is already being transparently recreated at the ends of the link in many satellite internet access systems. The TCP connection is transparently terminated at the uplink side, and re-created at the downlink. Over-the-air uses custom protocols geared towards high latency and dropouts.

  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @10:12AM (#34860972) Journal
    The GP is correct (but ambigously worded), the cervix dips into the semen and sucks it up, it starts doing so before the male orgasms and it continues to do so well after the act of sex is finished. However I don't think that the female orgasm is required for the cervix to start doing it's job, IIRC the fact that the penis is knocking at the door is enough to trigger the response.
  • by JonahsDad ( 1332091 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @10:32AM (#34861276)
    I'd mod you up for getting a nice Heinlein first post, but you've gone and reversed his name (Valentine Michael Smith)

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.