Space sex IS serious business, it's official. The concept of 'getting jiggy' in outer space is not just the preserve of mushy Hollywood movies starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. Although that's not to say the answer to, has anyone had sex in space is: yes. Because it seems the closest anyone has ever got is when married couple, astronauts Mark Lee and Jan Davis, took a space flight together in 1992 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor.
They didn't, however, do the deed. And according to NASA, officially, nobody has yet had sex in space, not on their watch anyway. That's not to say no living being has ever had sex in space: fruit flies, parasitic wasps, and rats have tried thanks to NASA's Biosatellite program which was launched in the 1960s to better understand the effects of spaceflight. It wasn't pretty for them though, or easy. Also, a director of adult movies is alleged to have shot a sex scene in zero gravity, but no footage of that has yet surfaced.
But why does space sex matter anyway? Captain Kirk and his motto "To boldly go when mo other man has gone before" aside, who cares if humans can reproduce in space? Well, as this video from Maggie Koerth-Baker, and animated by Tom McCarten, shows it's important if humans want to begin to colonize Mars.
The Reason Why Space Sex Is Serious Business
As it notes traveling to the moon takes a matter of days, but traveling to Mars will take a minimum 21 months, and in that time humans are going to want to enjoy what humans do normally here on earth. Which will include space sex. It's also important because if we want to colonize other planets, and begin interstellar space exploration, space sex will be integral. Whole generations will be conceived in space. In the distant future, humans born in space may never, ever see earth—making the ultimate sacrifice—as we begin to truly explore the cosmos.
Which is why, as the video notes, we need to start seriously looking into the possibilities of human reproduction and how people can have space sex. Looking into all the sniggering details. Like how erections function in zero gravity. How women's menstrual cycles are affected by space travel. The effects of radiation on human reproduction - and all the other matters that make your inner teenager want to giggle away.
In an accompanying article to the video, Koerth-Baker notes that, "If the future of humanity is written in the stars, and if we’re really serious about permanent human settlement on Mars, then we need to know what happens when this basic biological function is taken beyond the confines of the planet on which it evolved."
So space sex IS serious business and we need to start beginning to answer, can you fornicate in space?