The Space Station. (NASA)

NASA Needs to Take Space Sex Seriously

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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The US space agency needs to have better consideration for the sexual needs of their astronauts during long missions in space. Also, more research needs to be done to investigate human embryo development in zero-gravity or low-gravity environments, especially if NASA is serious about setting up a colony on Mars in the next 30 years. These warnings have been issued by a NASA advisor at a time when the agency doesn’t have enough funds allocated for human space physiology. These concerns are by no means trivial, basic human needs and the ability to procreate beyond Earth may be critical for missions lasting years…

At a time when the question “Can we have sex in space?” is becoming more and more popular by the future space tourists hoping to become a member of the 100-mile high club, a serious issue is beginning to surface for our long-term presence in space. Humans have needs, and although the astronauts selected by NASA, ESA and the other international space agencies are highly professional individuals, Dr Jason Kring, a NASA advisor and assistant professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, has pointed out that sexual desire is as potent as the need for water and food. “But the bottom line is that, like hunger and thirst, sex is a basic biological motive,” he said in an interview with the UK’s Sunday Telegraph. “The potential round-trip mission to Mars could take three years. It doesn’t make sense to assume that these men and women are going to have no thoughts of it for three years. Nasa and other space agencies should address this in their training and in crew selection.” Kring suggests our future long-term space explorers should replicate what the early polar explorers did and take a colleague as a lover to minimize sexual frustration.

It is difficult to predict the stresses long-term missions into space and to other planets may cause, but there is a very practical reason for this worry. Heightened stress on a spaceship will create an increased risk of confrontations, lack of focus and mission failure. When considering a possible 3-year mission to Mars, mission scientists will want the crew to be as calm and stress-free as possible.

Kring adds that future manned spacecraft to the Moon and Mars should be designed to optimize the privacy of astronauts so relationships can be consummated. This basic human need was recognized by explorers here on Earth where South Pole expedition members took on “expedition spouses” as sexual partners for the duration. When the expedition was over, the explorers would return home to their families and spouses. Pairing up with a colleague therefore sidesteps the biological issues of the possibility of “going without” for months, or years at a time. There are obvious questions surrounding the psychological effect of taking on “expedition spouses” (especially the effect on the partners waiting here on Earth for the astronauts return!), but the biological question will at least have an answer.

The fact remains however, that we are naive of the effects of sex in space, let alone if it is even a pleasurable experience. The mechanics of “human docking procedures” (as described by tests carried out by the Russian space agency) are a lot more complicated when in zero gravity. NASA researchers have pointed out that additional problems include motion sickness, increased sweating and a drop in blood pressure – all of which are big problems for astronauts in space.

There are also huge ethical questions hanging over possible pregnancies in space. Zero-G tests on rat embryos produced decreased skeletal and brain development, the effects on a human embryo will remain a mystery. Also, even if astronauts are having sex for purely recreational reasons, the effectiveness of oral contraception has been brought into question, making the whole procedure highly problematic, risking accidental pregnancies (something no space agency is prepared for, especially during missions to the Moon or Mars).

The fact remains that NASA continues to cut back biological research in favor of future Moon missions, so much about human sexuality in space will remain a mystery. This point is highlighted by a NASA spokesperson who stated, “We don’t study sexuality in space.”

Source: Sunday Telegraph


66 Responses

  1. just give the female astronauts vibrators and the male astronauts fleshlights. problem solved.

  2. Sci-Fi-SI says:

    Any what is wrong with going without?

    If marriage means anything, if an oath is worth anything, if a vow means anything. If love honour and fidelity mean anything at all. Then ‘expedition’ partners are totally against moral behaviour.

    No it’s not ok, by any means.

    I can control myself and I don’t need to have the mental discipline of an astronaut.

    We can’t afford to have ‘tiffs’ up in space where not only the future of science but also lives are at stake.

    Get a bloody grip.

  3. Gary says:

    if that is all people needed, there would be no human race.

  4. Sonora Rev says:

    Dr. Kring’s observations are correct from purely a survivalist point-of-view. Sure, people have needs, and sex is one of them. But taking on expedition spouses and expedition sex reduces sexuality to nothing more than an urge (among a myriad of other urges) that needs to be relieved. So with that in mind, if we go down this course, space exploration is reduced to a large vacuum where sex and other biological functions are met. Space thus becomes a jumbo sized recepticle for sperm, vaginal fluids, feces, urine and the occasional smattering of vomit, tears, mucus, sweat, blood. body hairs, ear wax and spittle. So I could just stay at home and find the most convenient way to relieve my sexual frustrations, pick my nose, dig out my earwax, eek out a few drops of sweat, hack up a big gob of spittle and call it a day…saving a few billion dollars in the process. So yeah, I agree, we need to build a bit more on top of the rather monolithic view implied by Dr. Kring and invest a bit more time, thought and planning so we don’t set the wrong trend.

  5. DannyBoy says:

    It is interesting to note that Robert A. Heinlein addressed this very issue (sex and a mission to Mars) in his book “Stranger in a Strange Land.” This was first published in 1961.

  6. sourman says:

    @ unlimited_pastries : Good one 😛

    @ Sci-Fi-SI : Naturally, this wouldn’t be an option for married astronauts, but for those who are single, and not committed to anyone, I don’t really see what the problem would be

  7. Gekko says:

    Its a very interesting subject that does need to be taken seriously. One potential problem with a couple of astronauts are having a sexual relationship, is that of jealousy by other team members. That can lead to serious issues if everybody is to get along for years at a time. There are some who spout on about “love and fidelity and the cheapness of “just” sex”, but seriously, thats just ignoring the real biological and psycological issues and covering them up with niceties and wishes.

    Humans are, well, human after all. One possibility, as mentioned above, would be giving astronauts privacy and the “tools” as it were, for self relief ( private sleeping quarters? ), and banning real sex to remove the issues of emotional attachment, jealousy, unwanted advances, pregnancy, zero-G issues etc.

  8. Mike barber says:

    Whether future astronauts take an ‘expedition spouse’ or not, has anyone ever come up with a real and positive reason why future long distance spacships should not be built as a centrifuge? (Thus eliminating the ‘problem’ of one’s partner floating away at the first attempt at ‘docking’……and also combating many other problems including medical issues such as heart and muscular deterioration)

  9. James says:

    I’m in agreement with the article that space sex is a serious issue, but at the same time I’m with Sci-Fi in that a partner just for having sex in space is crazy! It’d put too much stress on the other person down here. Really, if the person left behind has to go without it, so does the astronaut.
    Of course, in a situation where both members of the relationship are comfortable with an open relationship, then I am in no way against it. Obviously, however, I don’t think that’d be the situation for every astronaut headed off into the cosmos.

    Gekko also makes some good points. I think his suggested approach is pretty logical. All we’d need is a mission to mars to fail over sexual tensions.

    I wonder what NASA will do!

  10. David says:

    I’m amazed at the seeming prudishness I’m seeing.

    Go without for eight weeks, if you can, see what happens to you.

    The US Navy bans sex aboard ship, but it goes on. It’s not a blind eye thing, when caught in the act, the parties pay heavy fines.

    US Sailors get deployed for months, back home their spouses generally cave in after two to three months. It’s predictable.

    I assumed sex in space has already taken place. Wasn’t there a married couple on the same mission a few years ago? How could Nasa pass up the opportunity, even if they didn’t make it public.

    Sex being a private thing, I wouldn’t expect to here anything about sex in space until the porn industry sends a couple on a commercial flight.

    None of my business.

  11. Silver Thread says:

    Another good reason we need to send Robots to do as much exploration as we can first.

    That point aside, there are mechanical methods available to preclude pregnancy in order to avoid issues with drug side effects etc.

    It’s a difficult subject to discuss in light of the fact that the Astronauts really need to have final say on the matter since it’s their life and their body.

  12. JJ says:

    Now that’s an idea whose time has cum!
    (The best little Whorehouse in orbit)

  13. Pop says:

    Tempest in a Tea Pot. Sex is so natural, it will happen regardless of what people think, want, or demand of our astronauts. There’s nothng humans have ever done to keep other humans from engaging in sex. The only way to keep astronauts from engaging in two people sex is to send them on solo flights. We will have hetro and homo- sexual relationship. We need to accomodate astronauts in this.

    We also need to find out if we can procreate viable and sustanable life in space and on other planets. The only was to do this is to “do it.” If we can not procreate in space and on other planets, what’s the use of even going? We’ll be doomed to this small planet forever.

  14. Van says:

    As I recall, it turned out quite badly for the crew of that mission to Mars in “Stranger in a Strange Land”, leaving the baby to be raised by the natives. Science fiction is not about predicting the future but showing what the future will be if we do not watch out! NASA’s attitude but sex is a time bomb waiting to explode.

    I would like to see a “play room” on the ISS just for sex – either alone or a crowd. I imagine some informal arrangement has all ready been made by one or more of the crews. Could we not be grown ups about this?

    One of my favorite quotes in science fiction is from the “Star Trek:The Motion Picture” where Lieutenant Ilia tells the Captain, “I would never take advantage of such a sexually immature species.” I pray that is not true by the 24th century but it is so true today.

    Yes, time for NASA to grow up and take sex seriously. I bet it actually has, but has just classified it. That may not be a bad thang, to protect the astronauts privacy.

  15. James says:

    There is one too many references to Star Trek in the above post.

  16. Bobby Treat says:

    Sex has nothing whatever to do with morality, and people who get jealous/angry will have to get over it or climb out the airlock. If crew members can’t separate/reconcile relationships vs. duty, they’ll effin’ DIE on the way, and why shouldn’t they?

  17. owen says:

    To avoid the problem of someones husband or wife back on earth being jealous why not choose only people who are single. And to help deal with the issues of people becoming jealous get the astronauts to meet before hand and then match up the most compatible. If that doesn’t work then have a couples councilor on hand at all times to help them deal with their issues. Another thing could be that they have a private area in which to have sex and it is decided that what happens there stays there.

  18. joe says:

    I don’t know which is more ridiculous: the religious whackos twisting religion to fabricate sex as a sin or nasa “studying” it in space. One thing for sure: Like the religious whackos attack science, they will lobby politicians with “my taxes paying for what!?” and the same politians who want to shut down hubble will want to shut down the mars mission. Oh and Sci-Fi-SI, LOL, your lack of control of your pride, says different.

  19. RetardedFishFrog says:

    Didn’t sailors take turns in the barrel?

    But seriously, sex will be inevitable on long space trips. To avoid problems with a developing fetus, it should be limited to oral sex until we have a better understanding of what the affects of weightlessness are on an unborn child.

    (This is getting kind of graphic for a family/education oriented web site such as UT.)

  20. Smudge says:

    Mosy importantly, who gets to choose the sex music for space missions?? Barry white, while good in theory, would get old fast. Maybe some ’50s Miles Davis. Nat King Cole?

  21. Clueless says:

    This problem requires a “chemical” solution. If the wizards at NASA need help (and want to save poor taxpayers a fortune by adapting existing available technology) they ought to get in contact with any good urologist. Why reinvent the wheel?

  22. Chuck Lam says:

    All NASA really has to concern itself with about this sex issue is making certain that the science team sent to Mars, if it ever happens, is composed of healthy single men and women in equal numbers. The rest will take care of itself. Kring and NASA appear to underestimate the unstopable sex drive. It is second only to self-preservation.

  23. Tyler Durden says:

    The only objection I can think of to sex in space is, would you really want to be stuck in a tin can with that smell all around?

    Better buy some damn good oxygen scrubbers and air fresheners.

  24. Astrofiend says:

    “Tyler Durden Says:
    July 13th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    The only objection I can think of to sex in space is, would you really want to be stuck in a tin can with that smell all around?”

    They need a dedicated shagging room. I could imagine it now – tacky furniture nailed to the floor, various hand and foot holds placed strategically around the walls and roof to take full advantage of micro-G, a CD player with a variety of crooners and chilled out beats, and it could all be kept at a slightly lower air pressure than the main compartments to prevent the issues that Tyler mentioned. Pure awesome!

    On another note – it would be difficult enough to be on the ISS for a month or two to go without – I wouldn’t be surprised if the other crew turned the old blind eye while each discreetly ‘relieved’ themselves at times. On a Mars mission, multiply that pent up frustration by heaps! Shagging partners are the only solution. Jealousy would not be a problem if everybody was shagging everybody else – It would be like a little hippy island of paradise among the stars in interplanetary space! Sign me up!

  25. alandee says:

    Astronauts currently take medication to sleep in regular rhythms too .. post coital nap anyone ?

  26. Kevin M. says:

    Certainly sex has a moral component, which is why society has always placed it in a strict context of lifelong vows and public witness, with consequences for transgression. You cannot “compartmenatlize” sex out of its social context for any purely secular reason. The problem is that, in the “tin can” environment, you can’t escape natural temptation. Why has no one suggested unisex crews, sending up only married partners, or religious orders, who happen to be ideal explorers?

    At the very minimum, society has always controlled sex through strict separation of living quarters of the genders, it sounds like it is time to institute this minimal, common-sense practice in space. Any attempt at degenerate social experiments will not pass the moral filter of the taxpayers, and should not.

    The options are to send up highly professional and morally regulated crews, or wait until we can send up the greater moral and social context with them, including religious, justice and medical institutions. Morality will never be irrelevant, and NASA needs to get a moral component or be abandoned by society. Immorality, especially in high-risk endeavors, can only result in ruin and disaster.

    We won’t be sending humans to Mars in this century anyway, that is probably an exotic fantasy.

  27. Kevin M. says:

    …”compartmentalize”…

  28. Astrofiend says:

    Kevin M. Says:
    July 13th, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    “The problem is that, in the “tin can” environment, you can’t escape natural temptation.”

    >>>Yes – “natural temptation”, as in it is natural to want to have sex. You speak about it as if it were the worst thing in the world. We are just a big dumb animal when it comes down to it my friend – a big dumb animal that loves to enjoy sex. The only moral component that need be associated with it is that which you force upon it yourself.

    “Why has no one suggested unisex crews, sending up only married partners, or religious orders, who happen to be ideal explorers? ”

    >>> Unisex crews? Yeah – that would stop the problem, because nobody would dare think about having sex with somebody of the same gender if they were separated from general population and couped up together for an extended period of time, would they? Hmm, actually; can anybody say “American prison system”? Having married partners go up would necessitate that both partners be top-of-the-line scientists or flight engineers – an extreme rarity. And members of religious orders tend not to make the best scientists. Pretty much for the same reasons that you would have them go actually – they tend to have a world view full of pre-conceived notions and a generally opinionated view of how things should be – not so desirable in a scientist.

    “The options are to send up highly professional and morally regulated crews, or wait until we can send up the greater moral and social context with them, including religious, justice and medical institutions.”

    >>>Sorry, but in my mind ‘professional’ does not equate to ‘not desiring sex’. ‘Morally regulated’ seems fairly relative to me. Will you be the regulating authority? And since when do ‘religious, justice and medical’ institutions have the right to interfere in grown and consensual adults sex lives?

    “Morality will never be irrelevant, and NASA needs to get a moral component or be abandoned by society.”

    >>>I think you assume too much. Your idea of morality is not anything like another’s idea of morality. Morality is not a universal set of rules, unless you happen to commit yourself to your own code of morality such as the Bible. If so, great, but the bible is about personal reform, not social reform – that part is up to God if that’s what you believe. NASA is a secular agency, and separation of church and state should apply just as keenly here as anywhere. You say ‘society’ would abandon NASA – presumably the same society that advocates teaching creationism in science class and who devised the ‘wedge strategy’. They are but a few loud voices among a much larger whole, and nobody who matters cares what they think anyway. I think getting a bit of raunch involved in space exploration would garner MORE public support, particularly among hot-blooded teens who are the future of space exploration anyway.

    So I guess what I’m trying to say is: the future looks bright if there’s wanton sex in the space program!

  29. Chuck Lam says:

    Hmm! I wonder where all the money will come from to finance conditions for all this “sex in space?”

  30. Dutch Delight says:

    “society has always placed it in a strict context of lifelong vows and public witness, with consequences”

    Are you making this up as you go along or what?!

  31. Eric Near Buffalo says:

    Ok. If astronauts are going to be taking a 3 year trip to Mars, with or without a return, their spouses (if married, engaged, taken, etc.) should be able to understand that they might not return. There’s always that chance. Why can’t they also understand that as a human, you’re just like any other living thing on Earth. Sex is a part of life. It’s a natural urge. Why can’t private rooms be set up for “personal relief”? Whether it’s by oneself or with another crew member is discressionary. If my girlfriend ended up on a mission to Mars or the moon, I’d want her to stay sane and healthy. If that means taking care of herself or someone else doing it, then so be it. If she comes back no longer in love, then so be it. I could have lost her in space if things went wrong. It’s a small price to pay if it means getting scientific work completed.

  32. Eric Near Buffalo says:

    ~~~Smudge Says:
    July 13th, 2008 at 9:49 am
    Mosy importantly, who gets to choose the sex music for space missions?? Barry white, while good in theory, would get old fast. Maybe some ’50s Miles Davis. Nat King Cole?~~~

    Very easy, Smudge.

    Slayer, Cannibal Corpse and Dimmu Borgir.

    Nothing says sex better than thrash, death and black metal, respectively.

  33. martron3000 says:

    Hmmm…space porn ?

    NASA could probably fund all their projects without any taxpayer money just by selling the videos and/or live feeds.

  34. bob says:

    this is a test

  35. markus says:

    I’m sure that the astronauts are having lots of crazy space monkey sex already, they are just not telling anyone.

  36. chris says:

    lol. Man, I haven’t read more afraid and closed-minded comments since the same sex marriage issue was fresh in the media.

    Nasa’s full of smart people, SCIENTISTS, so I’m sure they’ll understand that sex is a biological need, not a religious rite or whatever.

    here’s an idea, maybe the astronauts that go up in space can go ask god at the edge of the world and ask him what to do…or maybe they can ask god to go rule mars and make things ‘right’ over there too….

    open your minds and stop being so afraid.

  37. buzz442 says:

    I think its incredibly naive of NASA to think that no one has had sex in space yet. Even if they “don’t allow it”, I know its already happened. C’mon people, we’re people, we do generally what we want.

  38. Jason says:

    I would be willing to put money on it that there has been masturbation in space. Wouldn’t you do it if you were there?

    Wasn’t there a case a couple of years ago where some crazy astronaut lady was in a love triangle with other astronauts? I recall she went to one of their houses in diapers or something. If astronauts are to have sex in space they should send up couples who can hook up and single people who can hook up. This would make it so people would not have to cheat.

    On another note, space tourism is a lot closer than a mission to mars. I imagine we will find out soon enough about sex in space and won’t have to rely on Nasa for that one. My only concern is what about sexual juices? Not only do men have them, some women have them too. Will there need to be a zip up suit that they go into?

  39. Chuck Lam says:

    Conception and live birth in gravity free space isn’t a good idea. Just a reminder that the human species has been largely shaped by gravity. If mankind is to do any serious deep-space traveling, and it is doubtful we will venture beyond Mars, it will be necessary to develop a rotating life cell of some sort to provide the body with continuous life sustaining gravity. NASA is kidding themsekves if they think otherwise about the need for an artificial gravity space vehicle.

  40. Kellz says:

    I say just give them medication that get rids of all sexual desires and they should be good.

  41. Eric Near Buffalo says:

    ~~~Kellz Says:
    July 14th, 2008 at 8:39 am
    I say just give them medication that get rids of all sexual desires and they should be good.~~~

    NO.
    NO.
    NO.
    NO.
    Oh, and also NO.

    No offense, but the above quote that I placed in my post sounds like something an uptight woman would say on the subject.

    I do have to say, spaceturbation probably rules, though.

  42. So we animals.
    We can’t control ourselves.

    So let’s just commit adultery.
    In the name of Science !

  43. kurilane says:

    I’m disappointed in this story and all these comment too. This is the most important question in human history. Can we reproduce in space or on another planets? This the essence of our existence. The only way for us to survive in normal conditions is to colonize other planets. Look how the human population is expanding. It’s only a matter of time when living space on earth is filled up.
    I’m disgusted about your chit-chat about porn and morality. Open your eyes and see the bigger picture.

  44. Micah M. says:

    @Kevin M.

    Way to go! Awesome the way you accept no religious nonsense (albeit, carefully worded religious nonsense).

    @Kellz

    You don’t understand the effects of what you suggest. We have no longitudinal studies on the effects of this medication on physical, psychological or emotional stability. NASA would never go for such an option – it might mean the life of their crew.

    The most natural way to address this issue is exactly as the author of this article suggests – to do studies on the needs of the astronauts and act accordingly. If the data indicates that they need “expedition wives” – so be it! Addressing this issue in a way which will ensure the mission the largest probability of success is the way they WILL proceed.

    If that means everyone on board should be homosexual and take on partners of the same sex – so be that as well! NASA will select their crew accordingly.

    If anyone doesn’t agree with that assessment – you should call NASA an organization captained by Lucifer himself and DON’T JOIN! I assure you, the astronauts are only bettered by the lack of your presence.

  45. Talendear says:

    Kellz Says:
    July 14th, 2008 at 8:39 am
    I say just give them medication that get rids of all sexual desires and they should be good.

    And what about the side effects of the medication? Chances are that if you can come up with a medication that reduces sex drive, that it will probably have some sort of other side effect. Possibly side effects that would be detrimental to the successful completion of the mission. I doubt any astronaut would want to take a drug if it dulls their wits.

    Of course, there is the other issue: exactly how will someone on Earth be positive that this medication is being taken? Short of using some type of implanted medication that is dispersed over time, there is no way to be certain. And even then it could be problematic to prove that they were on it the whole time. Especially on a long duration spaceflight. Humans are ingenious and if they wanted a way around it badly enough, they would come up with it.

    Truthfully, the most likely way to get around sex in space is what NASA already does: psychological profiling. And we all have seen how well that can go as in the case of the Lisa Nowak who was discharged because of her attempted abduction of another astronaut candidate’s girlfriend.

  46. Andy says:

    Eunuchs! How obvious can a solution get. Seriously, with so many better ways to spend their money now, why should NASA give consideration to an issue that won’t come up (no pun intended) for at least 50 years. (I don’t care what their current projected plans are.)

  47. Gerald, Walnut Creek, CA says:

    I’m betting that the question, “Can we have sex in space?” has already been answered. Probably more than once.

  48. Eric Near Buffalo says:

    If there’s a drug that suppresses sexual desire, it would most likely suppress natural hormones which if not counteracted could have serious side effects.

  49. Greg says:

    If the price of going to Mars is no sex for 3 years – its a price I’d be prepared to pay.

    Not having sex is the least of the sacrifices you’d have to endure…. although if you could be placed in a controlled state of hibernation for the bulk of the journey there and back (is this feasible?) I really don’t see that it would be much of an issue.

  50. Adam says:

    Yeah i agree.. if it hasn’t happenend i’m sure it most likely will wether nasa approves or not.. 3 years is a long time.. but that said i don’t think its a real big issue at the moment but something to look into.

  51. Adam says:

    * i mean they should look into the complications and problems it could cause as far as space babies are concerned and or any complications in general. i think they should just live without it. but i don’t think thats realistic.

  52. Eric Near Buffalo says:

    I believe the hypothesis is there for extended hibernation, but i think we’re most likely lightyears from the ability to actually carry thru with it.

    From the “Joe Blow” side of the argument:
    Do you, Greg, realistically think you could go 3 years of non-hibernating space travel without popping one off a few times? Eventually you’d feel the urge. I don’t care how mentally tough and morally sound you are. Your primal instincts and genetics would eventually take over.

  53. Chuck Lam says:

    To: Quantum Flux, That might work.

  54. quantum_flux says:

    Well, perhaps we should send up a couple more Rhesus monkeys to find out.

  55. Guy says:

    My experience tell´s me if they get married to each other before they go up their is no chance the men are getting a leg over

  56. آرش says:

    من حاضرم بطور كاملاً مجاني در اين پروژه شركت كنم .

  57. Bolton says:

    Did anyone see Kim I think her name was on the last mission !!!! Hello, Space babe!!! Space sex with that babella would be real nice!!

  58. Bolton says:

    Karen Nyberg!! Was her name and she was way hot. Definitely the hottest girl ever in space and with the longest hair!!!!

  59. Brad says:

    All this is kind of making me wonder where you would get car seats for babies in space. Would NASA drop by the local Mars Auto Supply?

  60. Parady says:

    MMM…

    For sex in space …. why not make a android?(sex doll)

  61. CR Copeland says:

    I think human evolution is to the point where the issue of “sexual need” is disgustingly inconsequent. The obvious point being over-looked is mankind’s Will to Power, something that we’ve aquired over thousands of years to let us overcome our base instincts.

    Not “getting to have sex” can be emotionally taxing, but astronauts also aren’t just thugs pulled in off the streets either. If the issue is a “need to feel good,” or a “need to feel whole,” supplements could provide long-term astronauts with relief from stress, as could focusing exercises. Historically speaking, many walks of life (not just religious wackos) have found that removing sexual urges through celebacy and focus helps to sharpen awareness.

    As much as we like to think that we’re just “animals,” putting the human race in a box such as that for too long will inevitably stunt the evolutionary process. If there are other beings traveling the cosmos from planets outside of our own system, I doubt “getting laid” was ever on the agenda prior to thier journey. But we’re young.

  62. John says:

    It’s just sex.

  63. vishal says:

    Married couples go without sex for months …years …i don’t see what the hoopla is all about….

  64. Adrian says:

    I see some morally righteous religious nuts commenting here. Now really, since you still believe Earth is flat why are you commenting about space sex? The hypocrisy …
    Geez (pun intended), you would like to control sex even if you don’t “believe” in a space ship.

    “Religious orders make good explorers”. Yeah right, they can pray and sing (“How I love you How I love you Jeeeesus”) their way throu the darkness of space like a bacon of light. A beacon, whatever.

  65. jade says:

    First of all, sex is not a “need” for an individual human being. For the species in general, of course, but for the individual, no. It is a want, a desire, an urge. Animals and children may be ruled by their urges and instincts; adult humans should not be. As rational beings, we should be able to decide if and when to act upon our desires. Lack of sex will not kill you. It may be uncomfortable, and possibly distracting, for a while, but will become easier to manage with time and discipline. Since I expect our space explorers would be intelligent and strong-willed people, they should have little problems mastering their sexual urges in much the same way they would master their fears and tempers. If a recovering alcoholic can spend a lifetime saying “no” to alcohol, our “best and brightest” can spend a couple years saying “no” to sex.
    Now that that’s out of my system, I can move on to the discussion of reproduction in space. If we are to begin actually colonizing space, there will definitely need to be serious study into its effects on human reproduction. An inabilty to establish healthy, self-sustaining populations due to negative effects on our young could severely retard our efforts to expand out into the universe. The results of these sorts of studies, combined with current levels of technology and medical knowledge, would certainly affect what sorts of missions we are prepared to set out on at any given time.

  66. Rich says:

    This is really quite sad. We are not feral animals driven by instinct, we are human beings driven by motive and reason.

    “(especially the effect on the partners waiting here on Earth for the astronauts return!)”

    … wtf!

    The sheer audacity that someone would expect their partner to wait on earth while they’re of shagging someone in space.

    Disgusting.

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