Sex and Reproduction In Space a Real Concern, Has Implications On Colonizing Other Worlds

First Posted: Jun 15, 2017 07:13 AM EDT

If or when humans colonize Mars, one important aspect will have to be addressed -- sex. On a recent webcast from Washington, Assistant Professor Kris Lehnhardt from George Washington University described sex in space as a real concern that has not been discussed yet.

According to Huffington Post, there are many things that humans need to prepare for before they even attempt to embark on deep space missions such as journey to Mars. During the spaceflight, or once they reach their destination, humans have to effectively combat the negative effects of radiation, be nutritionally sustained and maintain physical, mental and psychological well-being. These are factors that are being addressed by scientists.

However, according to Lehnhardt, in all the criteria being discussed, humans have missed out on something crucial: They do not know about human reproduction in space.

“If we are talking about colonization, there is a key component to colonization that makes it possible and that is having babies, and this is something we have frankly never studied,” Lehnhardt said. “If we want to become a spacefaring species and live in space permanently, this is a crucial issue we need to address that has not been fully studied yet.”

DNA India reports that at the moment, even researchers cannot be too sure about what will occur if humans were to have sex and reproduce in space. Earlier this year, a team of Japanese researchers revealed that they had successfully bred a litter of mice pups with sperm that was frozen and then stored on the International Space Station (ISS).

According to the research team, the ability to successfully store, transport and use sperm -- from space back to Earth -- could be helpful when humans start exploring the solar system more regularly. The researchers from Japan had even indicated that it could start the first "lunar sperm bank" that would allow humans to store samples on the Moon to safeguard it in the event of natural or manmade disasters on Earth.

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