Sex in space is distinguished mainly by the absence of gravity (unless artificial gravity is created in the space ship) which leads to some difficulties surrounding the performing of most sexual activities. Because no certain sexual intercourse in space is known to have occurred, the topic is hotly disputed to clarify its potential impact on human beings in the isolated, confined, and hazardous environment of space. However, the ongoing discussions often include several speculations (e.g., about the STS-47 mission, on which married astronauts Mark C. Lee and Jan Davis flew), and even hoaxes, such as Document 12-571-3570.
It is assumed that the nervous and vestibular systems may fail to develop properly in individuals growing up in a low or zero gravity environment, and that this would have implications for space-born humans making the trip to Earth though the possibility of Zero Gravity Pregnancy is currently uncertain.
Science fiction and popular science writer Isaac Asimov made conjectures in writing about what sex would be like in the weightless environment of space, in 1973. He anticipated some of the benefits of engaging in sex in an environment of microgravity.
A leading Soviet research facility in the field of space medicine, The Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBP), has been involved for decades in the sex-related studies of living species in space. The Institute's interest in topic began in the early 1960s, when it noticed a difference in behavior between two dogs that had flown in space, Veterok and Ugolyok. Ugolyok, unlike Veterok, maintained quite a healthy libido during his longer-than-average life span.
A 1976 article reported that an exposure of Wistar rats to 22 days of weightlessness and other space flight factors induced no morphological changes in the spermatogenic tissue or disorders in the spermatogenic process of the rats, and the offspring of the male "space rats" was normal in all aspects.
Regarding human sex, Dr. Anna Goncharova said that if crew members are just colleagues and friends, one should never impose on them any intimate relations for the sake of their psycho-emotional stability. It was rumored that the unhappy marriage of Soviet cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova and Andrian Nikolayev was in part instigated by the pressure of the IBP.
Zero-gravity sex is a common topic in science-fiction.
In the James Bond film Moonraker, James Bond (played by Roger Moore), who is typically amorous, and the Bond girl, Dr. Holly Goodhead, have sex in the cargo bay of the Moonraker 5 Space Shuttle in one scene.
The comedy Moving Violations (1985) suggests the main characters, played by actors John Murray and Jennifer Tilly, have an intimate encounter in a weightlessness simulator.
The Sci-fi horror Supernova (2000) featured sex between several of the characters in zero-gravity areas of the Medical Ship.
Private Media Group filmed a brief scene for the space-themed pornographic film The Uranus Experiment in a Russian aircraft flying a parabolic track (similar to NASA's Vomit Comet). The Uranus Experiment features around 20 seconds of actors Sylvia Saint and Nick Lang (who portray astronauts living on a space station) having sex in freefall. The scene was controversially nominated for a Nebula Award, but did not win.
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