Giving birth in space: why?


Having sex in space already seems so complicated, that it doesn't often happen to imagine what it would be like to carry on a pregnancy (if it is possible to start it) and then give birth, out of the Earth. At this last stage, he looks at a Dutch start-up, Space Life Origins, which in five years would like to send a pregnant woman into the earth's orbit, 400 km from our planet, who can give birth to the first child in Space.

Dear, it's time. In the concept theorized by the company, the future mother would climb on a space capsule assisted by a specially trained medical team, she would face a labor or almost launch, give birth on an unspecified space station and return to earth with the newborn, in 24- 36 hours more complicated than his life. Everything should happen in 2024 (the year hypothesized by Musk for the departure of the first human crew to Mars).

did we feel the need? The idea reported in an article on the Atlantic raises a series of questions, the most important of which is: why? According to Egbert Edelbroek, one of the leaders of SpaceLife Origins, Mission Cradle 2024 should test the possibility, for our species, to reproduce outside the planet, and continue even when, of the Earth, nothing will remain habitable. The same start-up would like to send in orbit, by 2021, spermatozoa and egg cells that can form embryos in space.

How do spermatozoa swim in space?

Down to earth. But if the need to start a family when human beings have "settled" on Mars or elsewhere is easily imaginable, in the list of things to be solved before then the birth chapter is definitely at the bottom. Long before it becomes an interplanetary species, we need to understand how to keep an adult astronaut healthy on the ISS; to create an engine capable of traveling in deep space (plus some "quisquilie" once arrived, for example, on Mars: landing, breathing, cultivating, feeding, sheltering from radiation).

Image Can two people only repopulate the Earth (or another planet)? | Shutterstock

A weight choice. It would be necessary to find a woman willing to expose her child and herself to the risks of a birth 400 km away from the earth's soil, provided that putting the unborn child in this situation is legally granted to her. The doctors involved would presumably contravene the Hippocratic oath: setting aside for a moment the thought of coordinated contractions at the rocket countdown, no one has ever studied the effects of an acceleration equal to three times the force of gravity on a pregnant woman (six times, in case of emergency landing).

The prospective mother could not use gravity to give birth to the child, and the thought of an epidural administered by a floating anesthesiologist, or bodily fluids released in weightlessness, seems to be taken from a horror film. The experiments on animal reproduction conducted in Space (on mice, lizards, fish and invertebrates) tell us that puppies need gravity: the rats that came to light in the 1990s on the Shuttle were born with problems with the vestibular system, necessary for the equilibrium.

Born in…? The space child would breathe the spoiled oxygen in the capsule at the first breath of air, he would have to survive with his mother to an abrupt return in the atmosphere and, once to Earth, as long as everything went so smoothly, he would face unaware the age-old problem birth certificate: madam, what do we write?