As it turns out, sex in microgravity is a bit more complicated than sci-fi movie depictions might have you believe. Firstly, just staying in close contact with each other under zero gravity is difficult. Secondly, as astronauts experience lower blood pressure while in space, maintaining erections and arousal are more problematic than here on Earth. With talk about sending people with neural brain chips that create orgasms to Mars in the 2030s, will procreation on the Red Planet be possible? Tonight on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis talks about SPACESEX – LOVE ROCKETS AND FAILURE TO LAUNCH.
We all know about Werner Von Braun. He was a former Nazi star, Ricket scientist that we brought over to work on our Rocket program He also had lofty dreams of putting a cavillation on the planet Mars.
In 1949, Von Braun wrote a science fiction book about humanity’s first mission to Mars.
Von Braun put his considerable technical knowledge to use in his book “Project Mars: A Technical Tale.”
In his story, set in the 1980s, ten large spaceships make the journey, a project which required “upwards of 1,000 flights into Earth’s orbit” in order to “build, supply and fuel these ten ships, and it is an international, cooperative project.”
By chapter 22 of von Braun’s novel, the human visitors have discovered a peaceful indigenous civilization that resides underground on Mars.
Then, in chapter 24, we are given an outline of how Mars is governed by this civilization.
The passage reads as follows:
“The Martian government was directed by ten men, the leader of whom was elected by universal suffrage for five years and entitled “Elon.” Two houses of Parliament enacted the laws to be administered by the Elon and his cabinet.
The Upper House was called the Council of the Elders and was limited to a membership of 60 persons, each being appointed for life by the Elon as vacancies occurred by death. In principle, the method was not unlike that by which the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church is appointed. Usually, the Elon chose historians, churchmen, former cabinet members or successful economic leaders who could offer lifetimes of valuable experience.”
So, Von Braun wrote in the 1940s that one of the progenitors of human space travel, the eventual leader of Martian civilization is called “Elon”, the same name as Elon Musk, who is currently leading the field of human space travel and a mission to Mars.
He published his calculations in 1952, and they subsequently reached a wide audience in Collier’s magazine, a series of books, and the Walt Disney television program. What is astonishing is that Von Braun’s scenario is still valid today.
Das Mars projekt was the first technically comprehensive design for a manned expedition to Mars. Von Braun envisioned not a simple preliminary voyage to Mars, but an enormous scientific expedition modeled on the Antarctic model. His Mars expedition was to consist of 70 crew members aboard ten spacecraft – each spacecraft with a mass of 3720 metric tons!
The expedition would use minimum-energy Hohmann trajectories to Mars and return, requiring a long stay on the planet , which was certainly appropriate for an expedition of this scale.
However, with all of the technical stuff and scientific calculations there was no real detail on how Von Braun would deal with people — their attitudes and appetites and also what does a crew do when they are not working?
Do they just toil away the day and sleep? Do they leap around on red rocks and report back to Nasa? What about extracurricular activities to keep them occupied?
A long stay on Mars with a male and female crew, could mean that these astronauts might try a few things like perhaps having sex.
I know that perhaps these things are not necessarily a priority on three day missions to the moon.. or three week stays in the ISS –but a Mars Mission takes 21 months and well… people will be people and to not figure in the intimacy one can have when in a confirmed space is something that is rarely addressed.
In the past, sex on a starship was limited to a few kisses and rolls in the Holodeck with either Star Trek’s Jean Luc Piccard or the green women with Captain Kirk. Other than that the scientific taboo of intergalactic procreation has not been statistically revealed and so these long missions need to either be sex free — or we need at least two people that will volunteer for this experiment.
As it turns out, sex in microgravity is a bit more complicated than onscreen depictions might have you believe.
In the first episode of the space drama “The Expanse,” two characters are getting busy when the artificial gravity malfunctions. Elegantly, the pair floats up into the air, their cosmic coitus uninterrupted by the glitch, until the gravity slams back on and they collapse onto the bed below.
Back in the 80′ there was a little film called Earth Girls are easy and of course in the 1960’s there was the Popular Mars needs Women.
But here we are 50 some odd years later and sex in space — or Space Sex is something that we need to get serious about if we are planning these long trips to distant planets like Mars.
Ye,s it is time to get passed all of the Beavis and Butthead laughter and speak seriously about what science is doing for those lonely moments for astronauts that seek out new life and new civilizations — how can you boldly go when you have failure to launch?
To be honest, I need to tell you why I decided to talk about this subject — and again, it all goes back to Elon Musk and his new discoveries in bio-tech and transhuman uplinking to a neuronetwork.
So we know is goal is to establish a colony on Mars.. but he also to create a technology that links human brains with artificial intelligence.
Of Musk’s two futuristic dreams, it’s the second one that has the most potential to change humanity.
While most of the early publicity about Neuralink– his brain-to-computer interface, has focused on its potential to unlock the lives of people living with severe paralysis by allowing to control robotic arms and even one day entire exoskeletons, the technology would change the way that the rest of us communicate, learn, and have sex.
But more than one researcher has explored the idea of stimulating the brain’s pleasure centers directly, allowing people to do without drugs or alcohol to achieve pleasurable sensations.
Dr. Stuart Meloy developed a device in 2001 that was playfully dubbed “The Orgasmatron”.
Yes, this was named after the Piano like device in the 1968 film Barbarella. There is a memorable scene in the film where Doctor Durand Durand where he plays the device with Barbarella inside, her clothing being spit out of the machine, and then she moans and sweats and writhes in the sensuous clutches of Durand’s pleasure trap.
But for all of the film’s double and single entendres, the truth is (as Barbarella well knows) that sex is easy to find everywhere. What really makes Barbarella special isn’t sex. Rather, as the main character says in surprise, what makes Barbarella special is that it’s “nice”.
That’s what you get with a space sex machine in the G rated 1960’s — a woman that says it is just “Nice.”
Barbarella is just eye candy, she is naked and where cool sparkly out fits but she doesn’t pick up on much of anything. She’s unfailingly trusting and eager to please.
Well, space fantasies and sex toys created by Musk and his crew are certainly a move towards pleasure only.
The new Orgasmatron invented by Dr. Stuart Malloy was designed as a pain management system but, as he told New Scientist: “I was placing the electrodes and suddenly the woman started exclaiming emphatically.
“I asked her what was up and she said, ‘You’re going to have to teach my husband to do that’.”
Meloy had accidentally given the woman an orgasm by connecting the electrodes of his pain management system to the right spot on her spine.
The technology could have given rise to a radical new take on the traditional vibrator, but according to Meloy he would have needed over six million dollars for the testing required to bring his “Orgasmatron” to market and “that’s money I don’t have right now,” he said.
Liz Klinger, the entrepreneur behind the Lioness smart vibrator, says that getting backing for a device aimed mainly at women’s sexual pleasure is still difficult: “There’s still a lot of stigma, bias and lack of resourcing in health care for female sexuality.
But for Musk, money isn’t a problem.
So Neuralink could easily offer the “orgasm on demand” that Meloy’s technology promised.
Using Neuralink the stimulation of pleasure centers could be used to heighten arousal and orgasmic sexual response.
If the pleasure responses of another person could be recorded by a chip, then that same pleasure experience could potentially be rewired into their partner, letting them know what their partner’s sexual pleasure feels like.
This also has potential for avatars to have sexual pleasure in the Metaverse.
Musk has said his company hopes to start implanting its chips in humans this year— two years later than he’d originally promised.
In April 2021, Musk released a video showing a monkey using Neuralink to play a basic computer game by just thinking about moving its arm.
To make the leap to human subjects just two years after the first live animal test is certainly ambitious, but Elon Musk isn’t known for being overcautious.
We are talking about the guy who wants to go to Mars inventing a masturbatory device — but again the idea of raising families on Mars is still a question. Procreation on a planet ensures the survival of the population –after all we wouldn’t want to let down the dreams of a dead ex Nazi rocket scientist.
The Challenge is to create the people of Elon so that his prophecy can be fulfilled.
We’re just now beginning to understand that Space Sex is Serious Business.
Particularly if SpaceX CEO Elon Musk achieves his goal of establishing a permanent human presence on Mars.
Surely at some point in their long travels to and residence on Mars, those pioneers would get down to business in much the same way that rats, fruit flies, parasitic wasps, and Japanese rice fish have while under observation on prior space expeditions.
Meanwhile, we’re seriously lacking in human data.
A pair of human astronauts, Jan Davis and Mark Lee, made history in 1992 as the first married couple to enter space together, but NASA insisted their relations remained strictly professional for the duration, and that a shuttle’s crew compartment is too small for the sort of antics a nasty-minded public kept asking about.
In an interview with Men’s Health, Colonel Mike Mullane, a veteran of three space missions, confirmed that a spacecraft’s layout doesn’t favor romance:
The only privacy would have been in the air lock, but everybody would know what you were doing. You’re not out there doing a spacewalk. There’s no reason to be in there.
Shortly after Davis and Lee returned to earth, NASA formalized an unspoken rule prohibiting husbands and wives from venturing into space together. It did little to squelch public interest in space sex.
One wonders if NASA’s rule has been rewritten in accordance with the times. Air lock aside, might same sex couples remain free to swing what hetero-normative marrieds arguably cannot?
Yes, like it or not there may be some couples of the same sex doing the deed in space.
But again, this avoids the issue of procreation in space or even on a planet like mars or even on a space station on the moon.
How damaging will cosmic radiation and microgravity prove to human reproduction? As more humans toy with the possibility of leaving Earth, this question feels less and less hypothetical.
It needs serious study — but can NASA handle the publicity — or would they keep this from the public as astronauts decide to take one for the team?
Apparently, Musk did mention off handedly the problem of making space babies when he spoke about the risks of radiation as minor during a presentation at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, and breathed not a peep as to the effects of microgravity in sexual situations.
Yet scientific studies of non-human space travelers document a host of reproductive issues including lowered libido, atypical hormone levels, ovulatory dysfunction, miscarriages, and fetal mutations.
On its webpage, NASA provides some information about the Reproduction, Development, and Sex Differences Laboratory of its Space Biosciences Research Branch, but remains mum on topics of pressing concern to, say, students in a typical middle school sex ed class.
Like achieving and maintaining erections in microgravity.
In Physiology News Magazine, Dr. Adam Watkins, associate professor of Reproductive and Developmental Physiology at the University of Nottingham, suggests that internal and external atmospheric changes would make such things, pardon the pun, hard:
Firstly, just staying in close contact with each other under zero gravity is hard. Secondly, as astronauts experience lower blood pressure while in space, maintaining erections and arousal are more problematic than here on Earth.
For example and I am not kidding — the adult entertainment production company Private Media Group filmed a movie called The Uranus Experiment: Part Two where an actual zero-gravity intercourse scene was accomplished with a reduced-gravity aircraft.
The filming process was particularly difficult from a technical and logistical standpoint. Budget constraints allowed for only one 20-second shot, featuring the actors Sylvia Saint and Nick Lang.
Berth Milton, Jr, president and CEO of Private Media Group, says “You would not want to be afraid of flying, that’s for sure!”
Now since I haven’t seen the movie — I don’t know if they were even able to put the scene in the film.. and those who have seen the clips say that the scenes are fake.
In one, Silvia Saint’s ponytail neatly hangs down her back instead of floating around her head as it would in microgravity. In another, the footage has merely been flipped upside down after filming,
Even though they were not doing it in microgravity, at least the couple can say that they are card carrying members of the 200 mile high club — but with long-term space travel moving ever closer to reality, would-be astronauts may be wondering if they’ll be able to join the 10,000 Mile High Club.
With NASA, the European Space Agency and other outfits declining to address the subject of sex or procreation in space, the official position seems to be that there has never, ever been any. If there has, nobody’s talking,
So there is that mystery as to whether or not humans have copulated out there.
It would be fiddly, tricky and messy. But it wouldn’t be completely impossible.
Astronauts who’ve spent six months on the space station may or may not already know that. But what about the rest of us? Will we be able to enjoy vacation sex on those upcoming space tourism journeys? More importantly, can we propagate the species once we’ve started colonizing the universe?
I know that this won’t make for an in-depth 60 minutes episode — but while we have the moment — I think it is a fun if not bizarre thing to think about. Sex is natural of course — but Americans still have their hang-ups –and I am curious just how the people would criticize using money for a sexual experiment in space.
I guess the question is should we and what do you think the public would do if they found out?
First things first: You have to be able to contain your motion sickness. NASA’s Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, used for parabolic flight for microgravity training, isn’t called the Vomit Comet for nothing.
But it is possible to become acclimated to microgravity, as the pilots who fly the Vomit Comet have proven. By the time astronauts are sent to the International Space Station, they’ve gotten used to weightlessness too.
So once that is out of the way, astronauts are probably not going to ralph on their partner should they engage in some microgravity nookie.
But can lovers hovering above Earth really go at it as gracefully as they do in science fiction TV ad films?
Not exactly. You’re floating weightless in zero G. And on the ISS, a constant small breeze that keeps the station ventilated presents an additional challenge. Not only would you have to hold on to your partner to avoid being pushed apart with each thrust, you’d have to fight the breeze pushing against you.
Even something as simple as a kiss can be a challenge– believe it or not.
Inventor and author Vanna Bonta, took a parabolic flight with her husband and struggled to connect for a smooch. Her solution? The 2suit, a pair of space suits that can be Velcroed together so couples can be intimate. Sadly, Bonta passed away in 2014, and the 2suit never made it past the prototype stage.
Aboard the ISS, two people looking to avoid pushing themselves apart could sequester themselves in one of the small sleeping quarters. The tight fit could prove beneficial, bracing the participants against walls so they don’t bounce apart. It would even provide a measure of privacy, since the quarters have doors that close. But using up the oxygen and replacing it with Carbon dioxide would give you a splitting headache– so that would stop that action real quick.
Carbon dioxide isn’t the only thing that builds up. Your body’s going to heat up, and your sweat won’t roll away, since there’s no gravity working on it. And the ISS doesn’t have a shower. NASA’s Skylab had one, and it was pretty inefficient — a single shower took two and a half hours. On the ISS, astronauts take something more akin to a cat bath, using a damp washcloth. It’s possible to clean up, because astronauts need to exercise on the ISS, but it’s going to be arduous.
Those are just the physical complications. When it comes to space missions, sex could mess with team dynamics. Add to that the relative lack of female astronauts — some 10 or 12 percent of the more than 500 astronauts from around the world to have been to space have been female. Presumably, some of those 500-plus astronauts have been gay, but so far the only publicly known one is Sally Ride.
In 1989, a document allegedly detailing NASA’s experiments with microgravity sex between heterosexual couples was posted to the alt.sex Usenet group. It, too, turned out to be a fake. The STS-75 shuttle mission on which these experiments supposedly took place had an all male crew — and didn’t fly until 1996.
Astronauts have had to give up enormous, enormous things to be an astronaut and have a mission given to them and if you are a woman with an additional two men on the voyage — and you decide to have sex with one and not the other how is that going to be dealt with?
You don’t want to screw up the mission — pardon the pun.
NASA is planning a manned return trip to Mars in the 2030s. Mars One, as well as SpaceX CEO and Mars-obsessed magnate Elon Musk, are both looking toward creating a permanent colony on the Red Planet. We may not be getting an off-world colony anytime soon, but it’s a real enough possibility that it’s worth asking: Will we be able to make new humans?
Space takes a toll on the adult body, with problems including muscle and bone density loss and hormone changes. We don’t know how these affect a developing fetus, but a team of Serbian researchers led by Slobodan Sekulic hypothesized that microgravity in the third trimester could inhibit a fetus’s musculoskeletal development.
It takes at least 21 months to get to Mars. Once there, sex is a bit more plausible than sex in microgravity, since the Red Planet has some gravity, though it’s only around 38 percent of what’s found on Earth.
So if Musk wants a colony he will have to find a way to make it plausible for procreation in space — otherwise he will only be the inventor of phallic rockets and computer chips that create orgasms.
Werner Von Braun knew all of the technical and practical ways to reach Mars but colonization takes it to whole new level.