Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View

Space Sex Is in Our Near Future, and We're Not Sure What Will Happen

Honestly, it sounds messy.

By Cassidy Ward

Before the crew of SYFY's The Ark (streaming now on Peacock!) set out for Proxima centauri, they needed to consider everything a group of humans might need while in deep space. They had to think about water, food, shelter, tools, and entertainment. They also had to think about sex. It's not something that often comes up on screen or in real-world press conferences, but as human activities in space become increasingly common, it's something we're going to have to deal with.

How to Watch

Catch up on The Ark on Peacock or the SYFY app.

As a species, we've never met a horizon we didn't want to cross or an environment we didn't want to have sex in. If the adult section of the video store is to be believed, people get intimate anywhere and everywhere. Pretty soon that's going to include space. While that might sound like a fun romantic getaway for consenting adults, and we're certainly not here to kink shame anyone, there are some important considerations that come along with getting down and dirty in orbit.

Space Sex Is Predicted to Occur in the Next Decade

With the ongoing success of private space travel companies like SpaceX or Blue Origin, space tourism appears to finally be happening, at long last. Today, flights are mostly limited to short jaunts lasting only tens of minutes. Hardly enough time to get up to any trouble worth writing home about, but over the next decade, experts expect longer-duration flights will be available to a wider selection of the population.

RELATED: So, uh, how are astronauts going to get in the mood in space?

"The next ten years (2023 to 2033) are expected to see growth in orbital space tourism, with flights lasting from days to weeks. The motivations for spaceflight and the expected inflight behaviors of participants are likely to differ from those of professional astronauts," scientists said, in a recent paper. Of course, that's just a nice way of saying that normies can't be trusted not to get down on a spaceship.

A still image from The Ark Season 1 Episode 11

Even if we consider the relatively small portion of the population who will have access to space, it seems almost inevitable that people will have sex and that someone will become pregnant over a relatively short timescale. No one really cares what consenting adults do with one another in the privacy of their orbiting spacecraft, but things get a little more complicated as soon as someone conceives a fetus.

RELATED: Box jellies use the Moon to synchronize mass mating ritual

We know that exposure to microgravity and increased radiation in space has an impact on adult bodies, but they've had the benefit of decades of development before ever leaving the planet. No human has ever had sex in space before (at least not officially), so we don't have a lot of information about how microgravity might impact the development of a fetus. However, we do have some data on how non-human animals are impacted, and there is cause for concern. Experiments with animal embryos show that they can successfully implant, but that some developmental elements are negatively impacted. In particular, cells in developing embryos exhibit severe DNA damage, likely from radiation.

If a person were to board a weeks-long trip around the Moon, for instance, and conceive in the first couple of days, there's no telling how that fetus would be impacted during the rest of the trip or throughout the rest of its development. That's the critical variable in the space sex equation: the unknown. We don't know what will happen to the kids who will almost certainly be conceived in space over the next few decades, but we probably have an obligation to cross that particular horizon with a minimum of caution.

Catch The Ark, interpersonal conflicts and all, streaming now on Peacock!