China confirms this: it is possible to have babies in space

China confirms this: it is possible to have babies in space

For a long time we have focused on the possibility of space travel, especially to Mars, without looking further.

But, and then what? Let’s think for a moment that we avoided the whole issue of radiation, microgravity, and lack of food during years of space travel and managed to get to Mars or another planet (a plan included in the SpaceX roadmap for example). Once there, what do we do? Obviously we must consider the feasibility of human reproduction in space.

Today we have almost everything: rockets, spaceships, cutting-edge technology. We have reached Mars and we have studied it, in part. Let’s think for a moment that we managed to get there. Now, will we survive there? A new study from distant China is clear: human reproduction in space it’s possible.

Human reproduction in space may be feasible, according to China

Still, there are already American scientists calling for caution, since it is unknown what percentage of embryos have developed correctly. What does seem to have been shown is that the dreaded microgravity does not prevent mammalian embryos from developing up there; Or what is the same, that human reproduction in space could be possible in the future.

Obviously, it will be necessary to analyze the data cautiously, and fully understand what methods Chinese researchers have used independently. The details are currently quite stark, and it is normal for mistrust to spread about it.

Previous failed attempts at human reproduction in space

It is evident that we must take serious future studies to confirm that human reproduction in space, with the known microgravity, is possible. There are known cases of space crews where female astronauts have returned pregnant in a few weeks or months after their space travel, but little else.

On the other hand, the United States, Russia and China have only yielded to studying the possible effects of simulated space microgravity on Earth, without sending embryos into space more than on rare occasions.

In a published study in 2009 in PloS ONE it was said that simulated microgravity disrupts development; another published study in 2011 in PloS ONE He also spoke of something similar, stating that embryonic maturation was reduced in the absence of gravity. To make matters worse, another study published in March 2016 in KargerI stated that microgravity alters genetic expression of the genes responsible for the formation of the heart.

On the other hand, NASA has dared to send mammalian embryos into space on the space shuttle STS-80 in 1996; sent two cells of mouse embryos that were grown during 4 days in microgravity. Later in 2012 they sent 6 mice into space for 91 days and only 3 of them returned; according to the study on the matter also published in PloS ONE, it seems that the sperm count of the mice was reduced by 90%.

Russia and China have also tried. On the one hand, heto Soviet Union I sent rats into space in the Cosmos mission 1129 to check the possible cra in microgravity, without good results. ChinaOn the other hand, he tried to send four embryonic cells into space in the SJ-8 orbital mission last year without success (although it is unknown if it was due to gravity or other factors in the experiment).

For now, we will wait for more data on the latest experiment of the Chinese giant. If their data is confirmed, it would be the first stone to confirm future human reproduction in space.

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