I’m sure many people have wondered… Has anyone had sex in space? It’s a valid question.
Scientists aboard the International space station are up there for one reason. To conduct experiments in microgravity. So wouldn’t they eventually experiment with sex?
Kissing And Telling
But alas, the ‘official‘ answer from all organizations involved in space flight is “No” or “No comment”. But that isn’t the whole story.
Sex in the space shuttle would be unlikely, there are 5-7 astronauts in a very tiny space bumping into one another. Any level of ‘privacy’ simply doesn’t exist. But the ISS is a different matter.
Married couples have traveled into space together before, and have spent time aboard the ISS. The crew of STS-47 included a married couple, Jan Davis and Mark Lee, who curiously declined interviews after the flight. Whether they actually had sex is only answered by rumor and innuendo. It doesn’t seem like they’re kissing and telling. Not yet, anyways.
What about the Russians?
The Russian space program was a bit more adventurous than the US when it came to risk-taking during the cold war. Many who were involved with the Russian space program have said in later interviews that they would be surprised if it wasn’t studied. Unfortunately, much of their past space program is still shrouded in layers of secrecy.
Sex in space might seem exotic or even incredibly fun if you let your imagination run wild, but the reality of the truth might be a let down – it’s not as easy as one would think to have sex in zero gravity.
Dr. James Logan, a physician for NASA, recently addressed the topic at a Las Vegas Convention. “It’s a pretty messy environment… for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Sex in zero-g is going to have to be more or less choreographed, otherwise it’s just going to be a frustration filled wild fling” Logan advised. “But for those looking forward to space migration and setting up self-perpetuating civilizations off-Earth, the space physician raised several warning flags.” Logan continues, “Will a fertilized embryo attach properly to the uterus wall? Are life-threatening ectopic pregnancies more likely in weightlessness? How will reentry acceleration affect a mother and fetus? Are the higher radiation levels of Earth orbit likely to cause problems with the first cell divisions? It may be perfectly safe to conceive in orbit, but we just don’t know enough to take that chance with the health and happiness of a child.”
What about masturbation?
Some of those astronauts are up there a long time.
Not only is it possible, it’s probable as at least one mission physician recommended it to the astronauts out of concern for infected prostate glands. The Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins, writing in his book “Liftoff”, states about the Skylab mission – “One doctor advised regular masturbation, advice (Skylab crew member) Joe Kerwin ignored.” Later, he writes: “There was no sex on Skylab.” And still later, he addresses the possibility of recreation in space: “And lovemaking! I don’t think any astronauts have yet been privileged to sample the ultimate use of weightlessness.” But he never states that other crew members didn’t ignore it.
If we were to place bets, we would place money on “Yes” people have had sex in space. The organizations involved in extended space flight do not want the publicity that comes with admitting to such experimentation. Though, many years have since passed. There has been decreased public interest and funding for space programs. At this point, it might be prudent to take up the advice that “All publicity is good publicity”.