"One small step for man, wait, I thought you said it was a good-sized step?" We came across an interesting article in the Metro today. Evidently, a trip to Mars will take a long time and scientists are worried that sex can't be overlooked. According to NASA advisor (and all-around rocket surgeon) Dr. Jason Kring, future space vehicles should be designed with a touch of privacy in mind.
Will Whitehorn, the president of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, has fielded numerous questions from potential space tourists on the chances of their being the first to boldly go where no man has come before. And Whitehorn has had to turn them down because we don't know that dangers of space sex, 'if we did we would have to call ourselves Been-Around-The-Block Galactic. Yuk yuk.' Whitehorn continues, "Two people flinging into each other could have interesting consequences - particularly for the male organ." True true, Willy. We’re guessing that people would start with something more akin to sleeping bag sex and get creative from there. And do you think that space wedding that Richard Branson officiated probably involved some space consummation?
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The bigger concern is pregnancy. We have zero data on any mammals conceiving, gestating, and/or giving birth in space. We'd guess it's a really bad idea given the amount of muscle atrophy and bone density drop in the incredibly fit astronauts we send away from the Earth. The chance of pregnancy, though, can be solved with a little snip-snip or quarterly injections of something or other.
There are 2 real concerns, in our estimation, dryness and safe sex. While the shuttle's life support systems aim to keep the air properly humid, we've heard that is can get mighty dry up there (like on an airplane). Not fun, especially if you're cocooned into a sleeping berth and have no access to KY. Problem 2, bacteria grows like Lindsay Lohan's little sister's chest in space. That is to say, unabatedly. In a control test, space Salmonella proved far deadlier to mice than gravity-impeded Salmonella under identical temperature, pressure, and humidity conditions. While we're sure that these guys are going to cook their chicken properly but a little outbreak of the clap could possibly incapacitate the whole crew. We're sure that these guys are all properly vetted by the medical staff for all manner of contagions but who knows these days? That means condoms. And condoms plus dryness is a bad scene for everyone. Oh and we heard that the air of the shuttle won't explode if you smoke a post-coital cigarette, so thank you very little, Thank You For Smoking, for propagating that myth. Sure, it would be inconsiderate to the other passengers on the rocket ship (as it is to the other passengers on spaceship Earth) but not lethally explosive (unless something explosive were to catch fire).