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Making Babies In Space May Not Be Easy

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the just-try-harder dept.

Space 262

Hugh Pickens writes "Studies of reproduction in space have previously been carried out with sea urchins, fish, amphibians and birds, but Brandon Keim writes in Wired that Japanese biologists have discovered that although mammalian fertilization may take place normally in space, as mouse embryos develop in microgravity their cells have trouble dividing and maturing. The researchers artificially fertilized mouse eggs with sperm that had been stored inside a three-dimensional clinostat, a machine that mimics weightlessness by rotating objects in such a way that the effects of gravity are spread in every direction. Some embryos were ultimately implanted in female mice and survived to a healthy birth, but at lower numbers than a regular-gravity control group. Part of the difference could be the result of performing tricky procedures on sensitive cells, but the researchers suspect they also reflect the effect of a low-gravity environment on cellular processes that evolved for Earth-specific physics. '"These results suggest for the first time that fertilization can occur normally under G environment in a mammal, but normal preimplantation embryo development might require 1G," concludes the report. "Sustaining life beyond Earth either on space stations or on other planets will require a clear understanding of how the space environment affects key phases of mammalian reproduction."'"

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The beginning bit is probably tricky too (4, Funny)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270147)

Zero gravity probably makes the actual copulation bit kinda tricky too.

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270179)

cleaning up afterward might also be a bitch

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (4, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270219)

at least no one will hear them scream...

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270349)

I love it when they scream, really gets me going....

Oh wait, we were talking about sex.....

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (4, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270599)

cleaning up afterward might also be a bitch

But no worries about who sleeps in the wet spot...

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (4, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270201)

They should contact the Mile High Club to send over some representatives

The challenge (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270209)

The challenge - it's most of the fun.

I'm sure these studies have been thoughtfully conducted and documented, though not announced, and the results were satisfactory. Humans being mammals, curious and intelligent wouldn't avoid this opportunity for experimentation even if directly ordered not to.

There is no reason to expect that their clinostat successfully captures the essence of the problem. Obviously a thorough study of 0-G human gestation will be undertaken as soon as the mission constraints allow it, whether it's in the mission plan or not. The kind of folks who venture out aren't the sort to avoid this question. If it turns out the results are unsatisfactory we will of course find a solution. We must.

Re:The challenge (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270365)

"There is no reason to expect that their clinostat successfully captures the essence of the problem"

I looked at the image of that clinostat. The researchers are probably pretty smart people, but there is just no way that a centrifuge on steroids can duplicate zero-G. The embryos have to be subjected for changing gravitational forces. Said forces may cumulatively add up to zero, in theory, but those embryos aren't experiencing theory.

Re:The challenge (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270481)

That's what I wondered. Is a Clinostat truly something that can be considered accurate for comparison to space? Or is this akin to saying product x is close enough to product y?

From what I read, it doesn't seem to be equivalent to weightless space.

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (5, Funny)

Sumbius (1500703) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270245)

Space Corp directive 34124. 'No officer with false teeth should attempt oral sex in zero gravity.'

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270271)

You bet! Even in space, you still need one of these things called a woman to make a baby! Even on earth, we are as a group unable to get our hands on one, just imagine in space where they are a rarity...

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (2, Interesting)

Cstryon (793006) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270459)

Problem (Kinda) solved ^_^

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2suit [wikipedia.org]

Also, the issue of reproduction in microgravity is old news, though TFA may just be adding tangible evidence to a theorized issue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_in_space [wikipedia.org]

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (1, Funny)

zonker (1158) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270511)

Making space babies may not be easy but it will at least be fun. ;P

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270613)

Zero gravity probably makes the actual copulation bit kinda tricky too.

I would love to see the NASA training budget for this one!

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (2, Funny)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270689)

Zero gravity probably makes the actual copulation bit kinda tricky too.

I would love to see the NASA training budget for this one!

They could probably double their budget easily if they involved selected senators in the "training sessions"...

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (5, Funny)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270899)

That's what the handcuffs are for.

Re:The beginning bit is probably tricky too (1, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271005)

Why did I have to spend all my mod points? :(

Where can I find results of all those experiments? (2, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270149)

Folks at NASA have been running experiments in space for decades....where can I find results of all those experiments? Or was it money down the drain?

Re:Where can I find results of all those experimen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270355)

Your money's gone.... move along, nothing to see here.

Re:Where can I find results of all those experimen (5, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270381)

where can I find results of all those experiments?

You better clear out your calendar, you have a lot reading [nasa.gov] ahead of you.

Re:Where can I find results of all those experimen (5, Funny)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270397)

Hush, we're trying to be bitter about NASA here if you don't mind..

Re:Where can I find results of all those experimen (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270523)

where can I find results of all those experiments?

Well, are you prepared to review hot, steamy monkey sex?
     

May not be easy... (3, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270151)

... but I'm willing to try!

Re:May not be easy... (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270535)

Indeed. "According to NASA research, Tasha, we have to do this 8,000 more times before it succeeds....Honest; here's NASA's paper on it..."
   

Reproduction in space (1)

Announcer (816755) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270153)

There have been all too many jokes about this topic. It is good to see some serious thought and discussion about it.

Since "artificial gravity" is easily created with rotation, conception and pregnancy would have to be within a rotating chamber at least until the embryo develops far enough to tolerate zero-G without adverse effects.

Re:Reproduction in space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270185)

Either that, or just send the Octomom into space. Babies flying everywhere!

Re:Reproduction in space (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270229)

Humans cannot withstand long term micro-gravity. Period. After about a year in space you cannot walk when you land on earth. Our equilibrium depends on gravity too. If we are going to live in space we are going to have to figure out how to create gravity on whatever structure we decide to inhabit. I really doubt we would mutate fast enough to take advantage of weightlessness to survive.

Re:Reproduction in space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270463)

Humans cannot withstand long term micro-gravity. Period. After about a year in space you cannot walk when you land on earth.

Those two statements are completely unrelated.

I really doubt we would mutate fast enough to take advantage of weightlessness to survive.

Nobody cares about your doubts. Humans have survived in space for extended periods without difficulty. Given a large enough breeding population there is absolutely no reason why a space-based species could not evolve. If you have no data, you're just pissing in the wind.

Re:Reproduction in space (2, Informative)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271011)

Humans have survived in space for extended periods without difficulty. Given a large enough breeding population there is absolutely no reason why a space-based species could not evolve. If you have no data, you're just pissing in the wind.

And if you're just making up bullshit that directly contradicts everything we've learned from fifty years of putting people in orbit, you're just an Anonymous Coward.

Re:Reproduction in space (5, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271013)

Humans cannot withstand long term micro-gravity. Period.

There's your problem. You're not pregnant until you STOP having periods.

Re:Reproduction in space (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271213)

The reason given for not having artificial gravity by rotating the ISS and other platforms is that the extra strain it puts on the structure puts it in danger of being shaken apart.

I can't see how they intend to get to Mars and back without it though, because even with regular exercise there is still muscle degradation in space.

So, what I read is.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270155)

a) sex in space: easy
b) consequences of sex in space: non-existant

I am pleased.

Re:So, what I read is.. (2, Funny)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270435)

Until you get space AIDS -- Andromeda immunodeficiency strain. Did you never read classic Crichton?

Re:So, what I read is.. (2, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270501)

a) sex in space: easy
b) consequences of sex in space: non-existant

I am pleased.

The pope won't be.
Look for Casti Conubbi II - no sex in space on pain of excommunication.

Re:So, what I read is.. (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270571)

I am trying to tag this article "birthcontrol" but article tagging is apparently disabled for firefox 3.0 users.

Re:So, what I read is.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29271131)

Sounds like I'll be taking my next date to space. Awww... who am I kidding, I'm posting on /.

Logic fail. (4, Insightful)

Thantik (1207112) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270159)

Randomly changing the directions of gravity != no gravity. Logic fail.

If I put an egg into a blender, I'm pretty sure it'd have a hard time forming a chicken too.

childish question (4, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270195)

If I put an egg into a blender, I'm pretty sure it'd have a hard time forming a chicken too.

Why?

Re:childish question (5, Funny)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270281)

Because blenders are very poor at maintaining a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit and very good at turning everything inside of them into a smooth paste.

Re:childish question (1)

TeXMaster (593524) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270369)

Why can't I mod you +2 Funny AND Informative?

Re:childish question (1)

SCVirus (774240) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270865)

You can, it merely requires two accounts with mod points.

Re:childish question (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270655)

No, no, what parent had in mind was a combination incubator/blender appliance = instant fresh chicken pâté.

Re:Logic fail. (1)

Sumbius (1500703) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270213)

Randomly changing the directions of gravity != no gravity.p>

If you happen to find a place that is not affected by gravity please inform me immidietly. I'm sure many physichist would be interested.

Re:Logic fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270331)

I believe if you go in a direction commonly known as "Up" for several miles you can find a spot that isn't affected by gravity very much.

Re:Logic fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270363)

zero-g != no gravitational effects affecting the target.

Re:Logic fail. (2, Insightful)

izomiac (815208) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270473)

If you are outside the atmosphere, and not accelerating then you're basically in free fall. Sure, gravity is pulling you somewhere, but it doesn't really have an effect on anything inside the spacecraft (your reference frame is moving with you). I suppose tidal forces and the gravity caused by nearby matter might be detectable, but it's so small as to be ignorable for anything but research on gravity. From a biological perspective there is no discernible effect due to gravity. Given that gravity is practically the only (essential) constant across the entire biosphere I'm a little surprised that there aren't more ill effects due to its absence.

Re:Logic fail. (1)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270431)

at the space station you are actually still significantly affected by the earth's gravity.... I think it is still well over half the normal amount.

Re:Logic fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270609)

There exists a point on the line between the Earth and the Moon where the gravity of both cancels out.

Re:Logic fail. (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271035)

Yes, but if you are co-moving with the space station there is no effect in your reference frame--which is what matters in terms of biological processes.

A reference frame in free fall is indistinguishable from one in zero-g(also called the equivalence principle).

So yes, gravity still effects you--that is why you're in an orbit. But it doesn't have the effects it has on you when you are in the non-inertial reference frame that is the surface of the earth (in particular, it doesn't pull your organs towards your toes).

Re:Logic fail. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270353)

That wasn't so hard... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Logic fail. (2, Insightful)

jopsen (885607) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270813)

If GPs statement is true:

Randomly changing the directions of gravity != no gravity.

How is gravity in all directions = no gravity ?

Re:Logic fail. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270923)

The vectors all add up to (near enough) 0?

Re:Logic fail. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270703)

As soon as you are in free fall, you're not affected by gravity (at least not in a significant way). This holds everywhere, but to experience free fall for longer time, you have to leave the Earth's atmosphere.

Re:Logic fail. (-1, Offtopic)

elenora123 (1565101) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270221)

Nice Article this is really informative and I am very pleased to be the part of this discission.........
Elenora
Carpet Cleaning Services in Toronto [youtube.com]

Re:Logic fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270249)

Yep. This is just scary-bad science. Rotating a flask does not impose zero G on it's contents. This journal is using jokes of editors if this made it past their peer review.

Re:Logic fail. (3, Insightful)

jesser (77961) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270465)

And real mothers rotate, too! Many human mothers spend hours per day standing, resting on their backs, and resting on their sides. Not to mention spending time actually moving.

.. on your part (2, Interesting)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270807)

You are saying having a G-force spread in all directions is harmful in a way that zero-G wouldn't be. That makes sense for chicken-eggs in gently rotating glass blenders, but not for the embryonic cells within gently rotating chicken-eggs:

Imagine you're at the center of a giant plastic ball full of water. You have to tell whether or not you're in zero-G.
If the ball was sitting on the surface of the earth you might sink or float to the top, and you'd know right away you're not in zero-G.
Now imagine the ball is being rotated so that you don't sink in any direction (or you sink equally in every direction, if you prefer). As long as the fluid you're in is viscous enough and you are around the same density you couldn't tell whether you were in orbit or on earth.

Of course if you had a handful of uranium pellets you could drop them and they'd fall straight through the water; it only works as a decent zero-G analogue if everything inside was of the same density and/or the liquid is viscous enough to slow the fall in any direction.
On the scale of an embryonic cell there are no uranium pellets, the DNA in your cells isn't lying on the "floor" of the cell after all, and because on a microscopic scale water would seem a lot "thicker" it'd be like falling through syrup for a cell's organic molecules.

If the direction of gravity is changing fast enough from gentle rotation it'd be hard for the cell to "know" whether it was in zero-G or not.


tl;dr: If it's either you or the team of scientists who have had a "logic fail" it's probably going to be you..

Re:.. on your part (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270925)

But your imaginary "ball" scenario doesn't help show why it should work at all.

You experience weightlessness/zero G when you fall without any resistance. If you are in a giant plastic ball full of water and that ball falls, you will definitely still feel like you are falling. Your inner ears will still tell you that you are falling.

If you are in a giant plastic ball full of water and that ball rotates, you may feel like puking after a few spins.

So there will be a noticeable difference for your given scenario.

They should just put some mice up in space and have them breed etc, or some other creature with a short gestation period.

Re:.. on your part (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271081)

You're right;unfortunately for the analogy our internal "I'm falling" detectors work based on something similar to the uranium-pellet-dropping loophole I mentioned.
In a cell though the molecules don't have finely tuned internal instruments to detect and react to freefall, just like they don't have uranium pellets.

Besides that there are also other problems with the analogy like how some parts of our body can be heavier than others, and water provides little resistance to things as huge as ourselves, so we would probably tend towards having our heaviest parts lowest (our heads tend to float), so we would feel water flowing across us as the ball rotated which we wouldn't feel if in zero-G.
But it's another problem with the analogy, because rather than being one large fluid-filled ball an embryo is a huge number of fluid-filled balls, and on the scale of each individual ball the fluid will be fairly viscous. Unlike the imaginary person in the ball the molecules will move with the water, and the water will move with the cell wall.

Really an organic molecule in a cell would behave more like a small piece of honeycomb in a jar of honey, whereas a human in a ball of water would behave more like a goldfish in a water-filled sandwich bag.

A bad analogy yes but I don't see any reason an embryo would function differently being rotated evenly than it would in zero-G.

Re:Logic fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29271115)

>Randomly changing the directions of gravity != no gravity. Logic fail.

No. The failure is in your understanding of physics.

Google the dude Einstein and become enlightened.

Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do *this* (5, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270233)

So don't do that.

Using acceleration to counteract undesirable effects of microgravity appears to be a universally ignored solution. It's like people are so amazed by how awesome zero-g is that they can't accept that working against it might be the best option.

problem: humans lose bone mass in zero-g
brain dead solution: we need to change humans with drugs! oh, and we'll make them exercise more too.
problem: embryos don't develop normally in zero-g
brain dead solution: we need to study embryonic development more, and hey, maybe we can find some drugs to fix it!
problem: transferring cryogenic propellant in zero-g is hard
brain dead solution: we need to learn more about fluid dynamics in zero-g!

Back in the Gemini days they actually bothered to join a pair of spacecraft together and spin them up. The effect was about 1000th of a g, but it was a successful mission. Everyone presumed that NASA would continue this research after Apollo, with longer tethers and slower rotation, a 1g environment could be created. That didn't happen. Instead, the fixed module concept took over and "studying the effects of zero-g" became the mantra. No matter, the Japanese space program proposed a module that would allow the study of incremental gravity on mammals, everything from low gravity to three times earth gravity, or the astronauts could sleep in it. That was scrubbed.

Meanwhile, private industry is solving the problem of propellant transfer [ulalaunch.com] .

Re:Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do *this* (1)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270413)

What about low gravity environments (a base on the moon, mars, etc.), how are you going to counter the effects of that?

Re:Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do *this* (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270467)

Perhaps first we should find any evidence that we need to.. and soft landing pregnant mice on the Moon sounds a lot more sensible way to get that evidence.

Re:Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do *this* (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270785)

We don't have evidence either way on partial g. There's also no real consensus on the outcome, so we've really got the next round of lunar flights to look forward on that front.

If I had to take a completely unscientific guess the bone mass loss will be measurable, but nowhere near the levels we see in micro-gravity and most of the other problems will disappear (thinking along the lines that bone mass is probably connected largely to use, but other factors are more or less an on off switch as to whether things fall in the right direction).

Re:Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do *this* (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270581)

problem: humans lose boner mass in zero-g

There, I corrected it for you. It was about the problems with sex in space, no?

Re:Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do *this* (3, Interesting)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270861)

Well, one advantage to using drugs is, in theory, if we have issues on the Moon or Mars, we merely have to adjust the dosage. It'll be tough to build a 1G chamber on the Moon. Also, the research into this problem has helped people with osteoporosis here on Earth.

That said, I tend to agree with you. Astronauts spend two-and-a-half hours per day exercising so that they don't collapse when they get back to Earth. At this risk of sounding like a cruel taskmaster, that's time that could be spent doing experiments and the other things that our tax dollars are paying for.

The worst part is that there doesn't even appear to be any research going on in this area. How much gravity is necessary? 0.5G? 0.3G? 0.1G? Could they work in 0.3G and sleep in 0G? Could they work in 0G and sleep in 0.3G? This could affect the design of long-duration spacecraft.

While the research into drugs is a good thing and helps us down here on Earth, to me it is not necessarily a good solution because you have to pack enough drugs to get them to Mars, enough drugs for them while on Mars, and enough drugs to get them back to Earth.

Re:Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do *this* (2, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271175)

It'll be tough to build a 1G chamber on the Moon.

It'll be a damn sight easier than building a 0.16G chamber on Earth. Unless you have a source of Cavorite that you're not telling us about?

Re:Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do *this* (3, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270885)

It's like people are so amazed by how awesome zero-g is that they can't accept that working against it might be the best option.

That's probably what influences the designers of spacecraft.. the awesomeness of zero-g...

Either that or because systems involving artificial gravity are too costly to justify themselves, and the "brain dead" solutions are actually smart solutions which save money/make missions possible.
Perhaps a spaceflight engineer would respond "problem: no gravity in orbit, we're not used to this. brain dead solution: create artificial gravity! price/practicality is no object if it means we have no new problems to solve!"

Maybe at some point there will be a zero-g problem which really is easier to solve with centrifuges than with anything else, and you can bet when that point comes centrifuges will be chosen.

Re:Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do *this* (2, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271163)

No matter, the Japanese space program proposed a module that would allow the study of incremental gravity on mammals, everything from low gravity to three times earth gravity, or the astronauts could sleep in it. That was scrubbed.

Why (not) on Earth would you want to simulate >1g in space? Anything below 1g, sure, but for greater you could just use a centrifuge on Earth where it doesn't take 1000kg of propellant to get every kilogram of payload to your test apparatus.

Wired magazine disappoints again (1)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270243)

There once was a time where the mention of Wired magazine wasn't enough to ensure that the rest of the summary wasn't even worth reading, much less the linked article. I am bored to tears

Organisms that have adapted to the level of gravity here on Earth don't quite work properly when put into a different environment. Shocking

I think this is going to be a minor concern in the grand scheme of "sustaining life on space stations and other planets".

Useless.

Re:Wired magazine disappoints again (1)

Myrcutio (1006333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270675)

I think this is going to be a minor concern in the grand scheme of "sustaining life on space stations and other planets".

And if this problem multiplies with successive generations? How big a problem would it be if zero-g environments reduced the rate of fecundity by 10% for every generation? That 1000 year mission to a life sustaining planet suddenly gets cut short because the population is bring halved every 50 years.
What other "obvious" problems should we not worry about when dealing with long term spaceflight?

Suggestion on where to begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270287)

They need to focus on the proper G-spot

My cock is huge (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270325)

pokes out of the atmosphere
impressive and thick
all the space ladies love it

NASA should experiment with some... (3, Funny)

DogDude (805747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270417)

Astro-Glide!

Defying Gravity (0)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270423)

Did anyone else think the headline was a lead-in for Defying Gravity [hulu.com] (one of the best sci-fi dramas since Battlestar Galactica)?

Re:Defying Gravity (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270683)

Yes! Was the first thing I thought of, what with last night's episode and all. Kind of reminds me of the season of 24 recently where the bad guys had a magical device that could hack through the defenses of a nuclear power plant, and two days later there was a /. story basically saying "No, that's not possible...nothing to see here..." :P

Old story (1)

gobbligook (465653) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270491)

Universe series season 3 episode 4 takes a look at this topic. Was made in 2007.

Obligatory (1)

jbatista (1205630) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270529)

Now we know the answer to a very recent, pertinent question: "how is babby formed?"

Re:Obligatory (1)

jbatista (1205630) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270547)

I mean, not the answer, but a definite step towards it.

Adopt (2, Funny)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270537)

It's okay, I'll just adopt a baby in space instead. Space is so over populated I don't feel like I should be contributing to it.

Cancelled (2, Interesting)

ianare (1132971) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270567)

These types of questions could be answered by comparing micro-gravity to artifial gravity. Unfortunately, the ISS module designed to do just that was cancelled [wikipedia.org]

Dear NASA (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270591)

Dear NASA,

I don't believe you. Here's $20 on you being wrong. I will fly up into space and demonstrate for you.

Do we have a bet?

PS - To make sure there are no confounds, please send up hot female astronauts to eliminate alternate explanations on why the experiment failed.

Obvious flaw.. (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270695)

PS - To make sure there are no confounds, please send up hot female astronauts to eliminate alternate explanations on why the experiment failed.

Nice try, but there's a glaring omission: you yourself might be someone whose looks alone give reason for a Darwin award.. :-)

Re:Dear NASA (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270797)

Typical female astronaut is healthy and fit (therefore sexually desirable), and high-achieving and intelligent. She would want you as a sexual partner WHY?

Re:Dear NASA (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271159)

As we learned courtesy of the Lisa Nowak incident, there's a fair amount of hanky-panky already going on between the astronauts.

Just for the record... (5, Interesting)

IorDMUX (870522) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270645)

...Larry Niven [wikipedia.org] predicted this years ago.

In his Known Space universe, the true separation of space-based ("Belter") culture from Earth-based ("Flatlander") culture occurred when the Belters completed their massive 'terraforming' of the inside of an asteroid named Sanctuary as a shelter and home for pregnant Belter women. Rotating the asteroid up to 1-g, they eliminated their last unwanted ties to Earth as women no longer needed to return to the home planet for the period of gestation and birth.

Though, if I remember correctly, Larry Niven's justification for the need was a bit different, as he reasoned that a human fetus brought to term in very low gravity would grow to a size that endangered the life of the mother... I think.

I know why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270717)

Because storks can't fly in space.

Ultimate form of contraception (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270721)

Surely I'm not the only person who looked at this and thought that THIS MIGHT BE THE GREATEST FORM OF CONTRACEPTION EVER INVENTED.

For years science fiction writers have speculated on the adult pleasures that might be enjoyed in zero-gravity. And to find out that it comes with its own natural non-invasive temporary contraceptive?

"Awesome" might be an apt word to describe it. Suddenly space hotels can't come soon enough.

Re:Ultimate form of contraception (1)

NewsWatcher (450241) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270959)

I am not sure giving birth to deformed children qualifies as contraception.

Re:Ultimate form of contraception (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271173)

The answer that question is a function of your political ideology.

Confusing headline. (1)

kerrbear (163235) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270765)

Humph, cell division...When I first saw the headline I thought it was going to be about leverage.

This is Slashdot (1)

cbraescu1 (180267) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270777)

As if making babies in the basement is such an easy task, you insensitive clod!

It seems like there will be a day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270839)

...when there will be people looking down on members of the 10000-metre club. Pun intended.

Re:It seems like there will be a day... (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271177)

Pun intended.

Really? I never would have guessed.

Sorry, I can't help it... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270841)

Hey, baby, I got yer three-dimensional clinostat sperm storage device right here.

Mice are not humans (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29270891)

Human pregnancy is different from mice pregnancy. As pregnant woman stands up, gravity aids by pushing baby downwards. This has vital role readying mother for upcoming birth.

Not a big deal... (1)

oljanx (1318801) | more than 5 years ago | (#29270983)

The only time childbirth in space would be required/permitted is on some sort of generational mission, right? In that case you're going to need some type of artificial gravity anyway, like the good old fashioned rotating wheel.

Cancer rehab in space? (1)

cpbrown (794387) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271097)

If cells don't divide so easily in microgravity ... I see a massively profitable industry of space-therapy opening up in the (probably far, far) future.

Wrong G (1)

backwardMechanic (959818) | more than 5 years ago | (#29271109)

G (universal gravitational constant) is everywhere, and no different on earth or in deep space. g (acceleration due to gravity at earths surface) is earth specific.
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