Most people have heard of how everyday life works in space. But what about sex? Astronaut Ulrich Walter FOCUS Online reveal whether there was already sex in space.
Many space missions send men and women into space together. It’s easy to speculate: Do they – or don’t they? – so had sex in space. And is that even possible in weightlessness? It is one of the questions that the public is probably secretly particularly interested in space travel and which could also become more relevant against the background of long-term missions in space, for example to Mars.
Ulrich Walter can answer them. Walter is one of the eleven Germans who have ventured into space. In 1993 he was launched into space aboard the shuttle Columbia for ten days. Today the physicist is a professor of space technology at the Technical University of Munich.
Walter reveals the truth in an interview with FOCUS Online: “Yes, there was sex in space.” But the USA did not test it.
“The Americans are a little prudish. They’ve never had sex in space with 100% certainty,” reports Walter. And that, although such an attempt would have been an option for NASA. Eventually she sent a couple out on a mission together. Mark Lee and Jan Davis were on board the shuttle mission STS-47 in 1992 – but they probably didn’t have sex, explains Walter in the documentary Spacetime on N24.
Because NASA made sure that the couple was divided into two non-overlapping shifts, so that one slept when the other was awake and vice versa.
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“Nasa is funded by public money,” explains Walter. You must therefore make sure that nothing of the sort happens. But there are also the Russians – and according to Walter they tested the sex in space.
In 1982, the then 34-year-old Svetlana Savitskaya traveled to the Salyut 7 orbital station for eight days. Two astronauts from the long-term crew were already waiting there. Walter writes in his book “Höllenritt durch Raum und Zeit” (“Hell Ride through Space and Time”) that one can confidently regard this visit as the first attempt at procreation in space. At least that was repeatedly confirmed by the then Russian team doctor. “However, the experiment did not produce any offspring.”
The sex act in zero gravity is not easy either. There are two ways this could work, reports Walter. To keep the astronauts from drifting apart in weightlessness, you can hold on to a pole. On the other hand, one could also take an example from how the dolphins do it. Dolphins often have sex in threes – two copulating and a third holding the other two together to keep them from drifting apart.
The fun in space would not be very intimate – and certainly not on the international space station ISS: “There is no unobserved place, there is a camera on every corner,” reveals Walter.
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Even sleeping in weightlessness is not easy – because the astronaut does not lie down, he levitates. “It’s a psychological problem,” reveals the astronaut, “because there’s no protection.”
For example, a cozy blanket on the body usually gives the impression of security. But in zero gravity there is nothing. “You have the feeling of being at the mercy of the world,” describes Walter. Therefore, astronauts often sleep poorly and, according to the expert, also take sleeping pills.
Compensation for this is the breathtaking view of the earth from up there. The sun rises and sets every 90 minutes. The view from up there is also completely different: “There is no blue sky when you look out the window,” says Walter. If you don’t look into space in the direction of Earth, you see one thing above all: deep black.