Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Scientist Says NASA Must Study Space Sex

Comments Filter:
  • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @04:10AM (#34858814) Homepage

    Michael Valentine Smith. Martian by mentality, human by heredity.

  • Several? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by asifyoucare ( 302582 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @04:11AM (#34858816)

    after several generations you'd have a new species

    For large values of several.


  • Re:Several? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dexter Herbivore ( 1322345 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @04:15AM (#34858838) Journal
    While you are technically correct, was there any real need to add the insult when correcting an obviously non-native English speaker for a poor choice in words?
  • Re:Several? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cforciea ( 1926392 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @04:19AM (#34858850)
    That was my first thought, too. Even then, the actual evolutionary forces would be such that speciation seems so improbable as to be impossible. The environment for colonists would be almost entirely artificial, and it seems doubtful that the color of light on Mars would significantly impact children's ability to grow to adulthood and procreate themselves, especially not with a sample size that is small enough that it wouldn't also be cross-breeding with Earth's population.

    The only real scenario I can come up with involves Mars being terraformed and then completely cut off from Earth somehow.
  • by Kokuyo ( 549451 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @04:27AM (#34858876) Journal

    Why would anyone wonder about this? From how I see it (and from what I believe to know about the mechanics involved), why should a child not be conceived in zero-G?

    When a woman orgasms, her cervix dips into (depending on the position) pool of seed the man released, sucking it in. The female anatomy then helps transport the material to where it belongs, where several spermatozoa work together to crack the female egg shell.

    This process is in no way a battle between the little guys to see which is the strongest but a joint effort and the female organism helps them along, too. So while conception might be a bit trickier due to the whole process being slower because of not enough contact with the female anatomy (and thus more time-consuming, possibly to the point where the spermatozoa die before doing their job), I see no reason why it shouldn't be possible.

  • I doubt no testing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @04:50AM (#34858970) Homepage

    Virtually no human testing? Given the kind of person who gets into the astronaut corps, I seriously doubt that. There's probably been no official investigation into this done, but when you coop seven mixed-gender, highly intelligent, very curious, extremely goal-driven, competitive problem-solvers up in a small ship for the lengths of time a shuttle mission runs, I think we can pretty much guarantee there's been plenty of unofficial investigations conducted. And there's been IIRC several mixed-gender ISS crews, so ditto there.

    I also suspect they've found the entire exercise to be awkward, exhausting (and not in the good way), inconvenient to arrange around all the monitoring that's done, difficult to keep private in those cramped quarters, and generally an awful lot of work for a lot less reward than you'd expect. But if anybody wants to go to Mars they're going to have to figure out how to deal with sex and how to make it reasonably convenient, because no crew's going to remain completely celibate that long.

  • Re:Not even then (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @06:13AM (#34859326)

    since you cannot call people with an other skin color an other species

    Because they don't meet the definition of distinct species.

    If two populations can interbreed freely, they are the same species. If you put a bunch of these earth-humans and mars-humans together in a colony and you get a significant number of hybrids, which in turn interbreed with either population, then it's a single species.

    At most they could be considered subspecies.

  • Re:Several? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pacinpm ( 631330 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .mpnicap.> on Thursday January 13, 2011 @07:01AM (#34859554)

    And, though I rarely ever use the word these days except when talking about some foreign cultures, the article even manages to come across as sexist since the majority of it seems to be written from the perspective of whether to include females in space flights with the rationale that females cause sex! (Note to critics, it is the combination of these two things that triggers a response of 'sexist'. In my experience, men also, uh, cause sex).

    History of space exploration is a history of man. First man in space, first man on the moon. Most likely first man on Mars. It's fair assumption that we will be adding women to men teams not the other way.

    In short: don't be so politically correct. Man and woman are different, they behave differently, they have differnt physical abilities. Giving women right to vote is good thing but it doesn't make them magically equal to man in every way. And by saying that I don't mean women are inferior - they are just different.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Thursday January 13, 2011 @09:54AM (#34860710) Homepage Journal

    Nonsense. Animals act impulsively, instinctively. It's our intellect, toolmaking ability, humor, and our ability to control our impulses that make us human.

    Wise man, my ass. Who is this "wise" guy, Moe or Curly?

  • by ThatMegathronDude ( 1189203 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @10:04AM (#34860840)
    He didn't say to blindly indulge your impulses, only to recognize what they are and accept that you have them.
  • MOD parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrand ( 147739 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @10:50AM (#34861544)

    This guy and his fake "Journal of Cosmology" is a lune. The joke is on slashdot for even putting this in the science category.

  • by Pollardito ( 781263 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @10:55AM (#34861620)

    I also suspect they've found the entire exercise to be awkward, exhausting (and not in the good way), inconvenient to arrange around all the monitoring that's done, difficult to keep private in those cramped quarters, and generally an awful lot of work for a lot less reward than you'd expect.

    Most of those statements could be made about "The Mile High Club" and yet people do it just to say that they've done it.

  • Re:Several? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:09AM (#34861824) Homepage Journal

    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

    I'd say even longer than that. Native Americans immigrated from Asia what, thirty thousand years ago? Yet they're not a different species from Africans or Europeans; not much different at all from any other race.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson