Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sex In Spaaaaaace!!

Check out this series of posts from MSNBC's Cosmic Log about sex in space: have you ever thought about having sex in space?

I, personally, have not though now that you mention it...

The point of this is not to speculate if astronauts have sex in space and which ones, but to think about space tourism and colonizing the moon or Mars: if humans are going to spend any significant length of time in space, they're going to think about sex at some point.

Or not:
I asked something like - are you guys thinking about that, really? Because all I could think about at the time was not vomiting or bonking my head on the roof when I flew through the air. Sex was the last thing on my mind.

I've never experience weightlessness so I have no idea, but I'd assume that, after a while, you'd get used to it, lose the nausea, and gain more control over your movements. Plus, I whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment:
While the engineers call for assistance devices and choreography as though it were a spacewalk, I have full confidence in the one human drive greater than the one to explore.
If there's a will, there's a way. I also liked her suggestion to install the back seat of a car on the space station, since are has many of the same challenges (minus the no gravity thing) and people still regularly enjoy sex there.

But the point of all this is to really talk about space research. It's popular to say "spend the money d0wn here on earth to fix our problems now!", but that's not seeing the big picture. Space is amazing - we hardly know anything about it. It's the final, FINAL frontier and it probably always will be. Just as its important to study the natural world around us (and studying the dep oceans is basically the same as studying space and I definitely think we should be down there too), it's important to feed our exploration of the stars.

If we want to be a society that values invention, creativity, engineering, exploration, etc., we should invest in space research because it reflects those values. Just because we want people to solve certain problems doesn't mean they will if we keep throwing money at them. You never know where a solution will come from; you don't know whether or not studying to create earth-levels of gravity on Mars or the moon will have any positive implications for life on earth. It might, or it might not. That's what humans do: we try things and experiment.

Should we start throwing money at NASA without holding it responsible? Of course not. We shouldn't do that for ANY organization. And NASA should also do a better job engaging the public, marketing its worth, showing people just how awesome space research really is and making it about every individual human's sense of wonder, not just high level, ivory tower research and projects or whatever.

Dude, space is awesome you guys.

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