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Space may make astronauts infertile


Posted on Monday, 27 October, 2014 | Comment icon 13 comments

Long-term space missions can prove damaging to an astronaut's health. Image Credit: NASA
A new study has shown that spending time in space can affect both male and female reproductive organs.
The research, which has been conducted by NASA, has shown that animals exposed to zero-gravity and the radiation levels typically encountered in space have ended up suffering from infertility.

The space agency already encourages astronauts to have their eggs or sperm frozen before going on missions and this latest research could further affect decisions over who to send in to space and for how long.
"We donít really have the human data to really determine whether what we are seeing in the animals is translatable to humans," said Dr Joseph Tash. "But we are seeing big impacts in the animals."

Cosmic radiation is also known to impact other parts of the body as well, especially the eyes.

As many as 80 percent of astronauts report some form of visual impairment after just a few weeks in space and most end up needing glasses upon their return.

Source: Telegraph | Comments (13)


Tags: Space, Fertility


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Junior Chubb on 27 October, 2014, 15:28
Hopefully just another hurdle to overcome... It would be sods law that we escaped our own planets mortality only to find that those who leave to seed the universe are infertile.
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 27 October, 2014, 17:10
Well, that's the final straw... No Mars mission for me!
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer on 27 October, 2014, 17:18
Would it be feasible to keep them in space for long periods of time? I would think it would need constant power to keep the temperatures down, for a short term it may be okay but for months at a time I dunno. But this is coming from someone who know nothing about energy storage, power output and the amount of space required to supply that power. It might be possible to have a compartment in the space vehicles where the coldness of space is used to keep the samples frozen with adequate lead shielding to keep the radiation from them.
Comment icon #7 Posted by paperdyer on 27 October, 2014, 17:19
Well, that's the final straw... No Mars mission for me! But think of all the fun you could have. As suggested above, just leave a few deposits at a sperm bank and when you come home and find the right woman, your in business.
Comment icon #8 Posted by pallidin on 27 October, 2014, 17:41
COSMIC CONUNDRA Can you STOP a cosmic ray? The electrons in cosmic rays will stop relatively easily in solid matter as they interact with atoms. But the muons are more difficult to stop, because they are much heavier and are not slowed down so easily by matter. Some muons will stop on their way through buildings, while others can travel many metres below ground. Cosmic-ray neutrinos, by contrast, are almost impossible to stop - they usually go right through the Earth! They do not interact with atoms in the same way that electrons and muons do, because they have no electric charge. Can cosmic r... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by alfonso on 27 October, 2014, 18:09
I wonder if anyones banged one out up there in space yet?.. haha
Comment icon #10 Posted by paperdyer on 27 October, 2014, 18:40
COSMIC CONUNDRA Can you STOP a cosmic ray? The electrons in cosmic rays will stop relatively easily in solid matter as they interact with atoms. But the muons are more difficult to stop, because they are much heavier and are not slowed down so easily by matter. Some muons will stop on their way through buildings, while others can travel many metres below ground. Cosmic-ray neutrinos, by contrast, are almost impossible to stop - they usually go right through the Earth! They do not interact with atoms in the same way that electrons and muons do, because they have no electric charge. Can cosmic r... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by baronesslucy on 28 October, 2014, 2:32
I suppose if you didn't want to have children or knew that you didn't want to have any more children, a trip to space would do the trick. It would be a very expensive trip though and you would have to be in tip top shape to go.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Lilly on 28 October, 2014, 20:31
Just a reminder, this is one of the science forums (not one of the religion forums).
Comment icon #13 Posted by Jacques Terreur on 29 October, 2014, 12:44
I wonder if anyones banged one out up there in space yet?.. haha that would be on my top 5 list of questions if i ever got the chance to meet an ISS Astronaut.....


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