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Logistics of Reproduction in Space

  • Alexander B. Layendecker
  • Shawna PandyaEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

Space entities within the public and private sectors have expressed growing interest in off-world destinations, with a view to establishing permanent off-world settlements. Thus, it becomes important to consider hitherto under-explored facets of human biology, specifically human sexuality and reproduction. The subject of human sexuality, reproduction, and development in space is an extremely complex one. Foremost, it is important to understand the role that sexuality plays with respect to crew morale and how this affects mission planning. From a wider strategic perspective, if humanity is to ever establish permanent off-world settlements, it becomes critical to understand what the current body of literature says about the safety and feasibility of sexuality, reproduction, gestation, and development in the context of the spaceflight environment. The data to date are scant, often conflicting, and do not provide enough information to definitively say whether or not these physiological processes can safely and successfully occur. Therefore, it becomes equally important to understand the clinical challenges and risks of prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care in this setting and their possible mission impacts. Finally, it is important to understand the ethical considerations associated with reproduction in a new and hostile medium. Any governmental or commercial entity wishing to seriously embark upon long-duration missions needs to confront these complexities through intensive research. To do otherwise risks compromising maternal and fetal health, crew morale, and ultimately mission success. Once these questions are addressed, comprehensive policies must be put into place to direct decision-making on long-duration manned missions. This chapter explores the logistical challenges associated with human sexuality and reproduction in long-duration space-flight.

Keywords

Antenatal care Arousal C-section Caesarean section Clinical care Conception Contraception Crew Morale Development Ectopic Egg Embryogenesis Endometriosis Episiotomy Estrogen Ethics Fertility Fertilization Fetal Health Forceps Gamete Gestation Hormone Human sexuality Hydrocephalus Implantation Infant Intercourse Intrapartum Intrapartum care Labour Maternal health Medical supply Neonatal Neonate Osteopenia Ova Ovum Permanent off-world settlement Postpartum Pregnancy Pregnant Prenatal Reproduction Sex Sexuality Spermatozoa Testosterone Teratogenic Vaginal delivery Values Zygote 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Advanced Study of Human SexualitySan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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