As the thrill of space tourism takes hold, a new frontier of potential danger has emerged: The possibility of uncontrolled human conception in space. Yep, rooting in space has the potential to harm future babies that arise from this low-orbit activity. This is according to a green paper called “Sex in Space: Consideration of uncontrolled human conception in emerging space tourism”.
It was authored by a group of experts in space exploration, human health, and law. It’s a really big, long technical paper, so we read it so you didn’t have to. You are welcome.
This paper is circulating in tandem with the news that a company called Space Perspective is offering a unique experience of flying to the edge of space in a balloon-borne capsule. The capsule has a luxurious interior with panoramic windows, a restroom, food and beverage services, and high-speed WiFi.
Conception in space: Bad
The paper throws out some interesting issues as we humans colonise the galaxy. While the allure of stargazing from the comfort of a private spacecraft may seem irresistible, we all know what we humans are like.
We all know that space tourists will want to be some of the first humans to copulate in space. With luxurious bathrooms and the ability to hire the whole craft to oneself, it is inevitable that some babies are going to be conceived, if only for the opportunity to name them Star, Aurora or Leo.
However, what most people are not going to realise is that conceiving a child at the edge of space is actually dangerous for the zygote. Bringing a child into existence amidst the microgravity and radiation-rich environment of space may have devastating consequences for the child.
According to the green paper, there is a serious lack of preparation and open discussion within the space tourism industry regarding these hazards.
The authors of the study argue that it is unrealistic to expect all space tourists to abstain from sexual activities, making the possibility of conception in space a real and pressing issue.
The potential consequences of babies being conceived in space are far-reaching. Studies have show exposure to microgravity can lead to skeletal and muscle problems, while radiation can increase the risk of birth defects and genetic abnormalities.
Sex in space: Call the space lawyers
Aside from the biological risks, the commercial and legal implications of human conception in space are also complex. Space tourism companies can face liability and litigation if a child is conceived in orbit and born with health complications due to space exposure.
One day, these kids may not only be conceived in space, but also raised in space as well. The legal status of a child born in space would be unclear, raising questions of citizenship, parental rights, and healthcare access.
The green paper stresses that customers of these space joy flights need to know with full clarity that any baby conceived in orbit is at serious risk.
If you are a space tourist, there may soon be some documents you have to sign, promising not to conceive a child in space, and if you do, it’s on you.
Most importantly, ethical considerations surrounding human conception in space could possibly be a big deal in the future. The well-being of any offspring born in this harsh environment would be paramount. In the same way that drugs and alcohol can damage a foetus, so could space, and humans will need to view space conception both legally and ethically like drugs and alcohol.
As we venture further into the cosmos, we have a responsibility to protect the well-being of future generations, even those born beyond the confines of Earth.