Can humans reproduce in space? NASA might have the answer soon              


Since holidays and re-location has been talked about in space, this is another mandatory question that needs answering, just in case.

Trust NASA scientists to not leave any stones unturned when thinking of the human-space connection. For preliminary studies of human reproductive capabilities in space, NASA wants to first have complete understanding as to how a sperm would behave in space atmosphere.

Just last week, along with other experiments supplies, NASA also packed and sent few sample of sperms to the ISS. This was sent on board Falcon 9 rocket.

Since space atmosphere and microgravity is very different from that of earth, the burning question of human coital reproduction remains a big question mark there.

The mission Micro-11, as it has been named, will have astronauts on board the ISS who will test samples of human semen along with bull semen (which will act as a control for the experiment) in space. Sperm movement, speed and fusion with an egg will be studied in depth. The experiments will be carried out in a microgravity science glovebox. Video observations of the experiments will be recorded up in space and the data will be sent back for analysis.

Earlier experimentation has been done that has shown that sperm behave differently in space than in Earth. The doubt is not on the motility of the sperm in microgravity, but the fusion with the egg poses a challenge. The delay in fusion is what might prove be a barrier in fertilization.

Back in 2017, NASA had studied frozen mouse sperm in space, which had shown survival skills till 9 months of the trip to ISS. It was also capable of producing normal mice when back on Earth. In 1998, studies on aquatic invertebrates showed that their reproduction was not hampered in space (snails and water fleas), when taken on a four months long trip to space.

Once human sperms pass this survival test, the immediate next question would be, are humans capable of physically performing the act of reproduction in space? If yes, then will they survive the process of delivery in the space atmosphere? Then there is the question of human babies reacting and surviving the large amount of radiation levels that is in space.

These questions will surely clear one thing, that is, if humans will ever have a chance to live a normal earthly life in space or not. Let`s wait and watch.