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Old 04-16-2018, 09:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sperm in SPAAAAAAAACE

So NASA has sent human and bull sperm into space to see how they swim in zero grav.

Now, OK, I love science. But I am SO SURE that more than one member of the team behind this experiment has some fantasy that, if they keep on sending sperm into space, SOMEDAY a fantastic accident will happen and the 2001 space baby will go cruising through the universe, seeding it with humankind.

But my suspecting that is nuts, right? I mean, it's valid to study reproduction in space, and studying sperm is a good first step. Even tho the egg part is probably more complex (but I'm sure impossible to do without right-to-lifers bombing NASA hq).

However, a question. Wouldn't it be cheaper and MUCH more informative to have a couple of astronauts hook up in space when the female's fertile? In heavily monitored BUT NOT FILMED PLEASE conditions. I'm sure that NASA is not recruiting for couples who would do it for science (or kicks), but they could.

Just sayin. As a taxpayer, y'know.

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Old 04-16-2018, 11:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i dont know, i think i'd pay to see them hook up.... purely for a scientific interest...
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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NASA denies the existence of "cosmic coitus," despite French astronomer Pierre Kohler's new book, which claims that U.S. and Russian astronauts have had sex in space and that NASA has determined, via experiments involving guinea pigs, the 10 best zero-gravity lovemaking positions. Russia's St. Petersburg Times discounted Kohler's assertions as unsubstantiated rumors, but the paper reminded readers that when the international space station has its maiden three-year voyage in 2012, the world's space agencies will have to tackle the topic of sex in space. "NASA's stated position of not being interested in the private lives of its employees may seem satisfying to [American] culture, which values privacy," but "[u]ltimately, NASA will need to give up its puritanical views." -- No Sex Please, We're NASA
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nika Talaj View Post
However, a question. Wouldn't it be cheaper and MUCH more informative to have a couple of astronauts hook up in space when the female's fertile? In heavily monitored BUT NOT FILMED PLEASE conditions. I'm sure that NASA is not recruiting for couples who would do it for science (or kicks), but they could.
(A) Most astronauts are married, but not to other astronauts.

(B) The crew cabins are barely large enough for one person.

(C) It's hard to get traction in zero-g without bungies to hold you in place. They have plenty of bungies on the station, but using them would be awkward and spoil the mood.

(D) The station is designed for microgravity research, therefore it has an "accelerometer mapping system" so they know what the actual gravity conditions the experiment sees. It can measure to actual microgravity (millionth of a g) levels of accuracy.

The Station weighs about a million pounds, so a one pound force by the crew creates a micro-g of acceleration in the rest of the station (Newton's Law and all that). So the crew just moving around doing day-to-day activity creates many micro-g's.

If a pair of crew were having sex, both Mission Control *and* the other crew would know about it from the rhythmic oscillating g-forces measured by the AMS, even if they don't feel the movements themselves. This would be very awkward, as would telling the other crew to stay out of a particular area for privacy.

(E) Bob Guccione had a standing offer of a million dollars for the story of the first zero-g sex, as the publisher of both Penthouse and OMNI magazines (OMNI is science and science fiction). Nobody has collected, so I'm fairly sure nobody has done it up there.

(F) It's unethical to experiment on babies that way, not just from the effects of zero-g, but from the high radiation environment in orbit, and the high g-forces from re-entry.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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They have plenty of bungies on the station, but using them would be awkward and spoil the mood.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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(A)
Yes, that's why you need to recruit. Extra points for sample interview questionairres, folks!
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(B) - (D)
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Prolly true.
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(F)
You could learn a whole lot from protected sex, tho admittedly little about whether conception & early development could succeed.
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If a pair of crew were having sex, both Mission Control *and* the other crew would know about it from the rhythmic oscillating g-forces measured by the AMS, even if they don't feel the movements themselves. This would be very awkward, as would telling the other crew to stay out of a particular area for privacy
So, no masturbation on the space station, or you gotta find a way to do it without setting off the accelerometers?

What's the current duration record? Several hundred days? They must all be some kinda perfect saints.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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So, no masturbation on the space station, or you gotta find a way to do it without setting off the accelerometers?

What's the current duration record? Several hundred days? They must all be some kinda perfect saints.
So here is the plan.

Get another astronaut you trust. Like, really trust, then you both agree to do your dirty deed at the same time, in unison. This way, you cancel out the occilations.
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So, no masturbation on the space station, or you gotta find a way to do it without setting off the accelerometers?
That's pretty easy, just don't have solid contact with the station's structure. Your own body will react to you stroking yourself, but if you don't push on the station itself, it won't register. Also, 1 pound forces are *measurable* by the design of the AMS, but there's plenty of other equipment and other astronauts doing things, so very small forces would get lost in the noise. A couple hundred pounds (two astronauts) vigorously moving back and forth, however, would clearly register above the noise.

You don't "set off" the accelerometer like an alarm. It continuously monitors accelerations, similar to how a seismograph constantly looks for ground motions to detect earthquakes. That data then informs whatever microgravity experiment results are obtained. Perfect zero gravity is hard to get, and for certain experiments, constant background vibrations make a difference.

For very sensitive experiments, there is actually a free-floating rack-within a rack. The inner rack is suspended at the corners with magnetic coils similar to the ones in speakers. So it is isolated from any vibrations in the rest of the station. Not many experiments need that level of "quiet", but they can have it if they want it. The ultimate in quietness is to get off the station entirely, and some science missions have done that.

Side note: I helped build the US part of the station when I worked for Boeing. It shouldn't surprise anyone that a bunch of mostly male engineers thought about zero-g sex, and we talked about it over coffee or lunch. But it never got into official documents and reports, because NASA is prudish about the subject, lest it tarnish the "all American hero" image of the astronaut corps.

We would have been happy to design a "Microgravity Two Person Crew Exercise Restraint System" that would be useful for sex, but we would never be allowed to.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So, Oral.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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So, Oral.
Other options are probably too messy in micro-gravity.
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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So, Oral.
Other options are probably too messy in micro-gravity.
and... No Spitting !
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