Did it already exist or not, sex in space? Next to the toilet in space, this is the topic that most fascinates the public about space travel. Astronaut Ulrich Walter answers this question and explains how willing the Americans are to experiment on the subject.
As an astronaut, you simply cannot avoid this topic. It is, along with the toilet in space, the topic that fascinates the public most about space travel. If I were here instead lecturing on zero gravity science, the reason for all the hassle of a space station, you’d be right out. Right? There are soooo nice results there… But I know you don’t want this nonsense now, just the one thing. Let’s go.
As early as 1996, two years before the start of construction of the International Space Station, NASA is said to have carried out a study on the subject of sex in weightlessness in order to “meet the needs of astronauts on long-term missions”, according to the book La Dernière Mission ( The Last Mission, Calmann-Levy, 2000) by French astronomer and author Pierre Kohler. The author got his facts from the Nasa report number 12-571-3570, which could be found on the Internet websites for a few years, but was quickly withdrawn from circulation by Nasa. Who cares.
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Walter has a doctorate in physics and is a scientific astronaut. Walter embarked with six other astronauts in late April 1993 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia for the D-2 mission bound for Earth orbit. Since March 2003 he has held the chair for space technology at the Technical Elite University in Munich and teaches and researches in the field of robotics in space and system technology. His SPIEGEL bestseller The Devil’s Gone in the Black Hole, Hell’s Ride Through Space and Time, A Different View of the World and The Crazy World of Physics have been published byKomplett-Media Verlag. His documentary series Spacetime on YouTube was also viewed internationally by up to 3.3 million viewers per broadcast. His textbook Astronautics – The Physics of Spaceflight with 2.8 million downloads is the standard work for space travel at universities worldwide.
The objectives and results of the study summarized as follows: “The purpose of this experiment was to prepare for spouse teams that will participate in long-term stays in space once the US space station is in orbit. To achieve this, the participants tried out a number of possible positions that would allow the spouses to perform their marital duties even in zero gravity. The weightlessness during the STS-75 shuttle mission provided the right framework conditions. Our first conclusion is that while satisfying marital relationships in ‘Zero-G’ (technical term for weightlessness) are well within the realm of possibility, many couples will have difficulty adjusting to the positions we have found most appropriate. So far the supposedly official finding.
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The last result of this summary is not surprising, since during “Experiment 8” of the shuttle mission STS-75 nothing should have worked without elastic belts and plastic tunnels, into which the test subjects had to slip, or convulsive clinging. Astronauts tried out ten different positions. The missionary position, which is so popular on Earth, did particularly poorly, for which gravity is absolutely necessary. It works better, the report says, when the woman is strapped headfirst to the man, her head on his knees, and her knees on his chest.
This article is an excerpt from the book “Ride in Hell through Space and Time” by Ulrich Walter
“Höllenritt durch Raum und Zeit” by Ulrich Walter was published in 2017 byKomplett-Media Verlag.
It is actually amazing that the otherwise so prudish Americans not only carried out such delicate experiments – and that too via the always so spotless space agency Nasa – but to top it all off also made a very detailed summary available to the public. It gets even more astounding when you look at the mission data for Shuttle mission STS-75 and note that only men could have participated in the investigations into “marital activities.”
Had NASA perhaps smuggled a woman on board without the public recognizing it? Impossible, because since the Challenger disaster in January 1986 only a maximum of seven astronauts are allowed to fly for safety reasons. With the seven men, the limit was reached. A woman was definitely not on board. Doubts about the alleged Nasa report also arise because a similar version of it could already be found in the newsgroup “alt.sex” of November 28, 1989, but the STS-75 mission flew in February/March 1996. Something is not right!
NASA itself has the solution to the riddle ready: “There has never been such an experiment,” stated Nasa spokesman Brian Welch at the time. Frustrated, he adds: “It’s unbelievable that various news agencies have never even considered asking NASA whether there is a grain of truth in it.” Nasa does not deny that there may have already been sex in space, but it does this was then a private matter for the astronauts and by no means a question of experiments. Nasa spokesman Ed Campion said: “We have not conducted any sex experiments, nor do we currently do or plan to do so at any time in the future!”
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So how does NASA deal with sex in space? Nasa report 12-571-3570 is without a doubt a fake. In general, Nasa fears the topic of sex in space like the devil fears holy water, not only because the Americans are quite prudish in dealing with such “matter”, but also, according to a Nasa employee who deals with this topic, so that “the public does not impression that with the space station we are installing an intergalactic brothel funded by American taxpayers.”
How true, prudish Americans would do anything not to encourage this troublesome subject. There is, for example, the case of husband and wife team, Mark Lee and Jan Davis, he is an Air Force officer and she is a biologist with an engineering degree. Both flew aboard Shuttle Mission STS-47 in September 1992. They met while working for NASA and married during mission training for their flight together. Their honeymoon in space certainly didn’t have the usual appeal. On the one hand, the shuttle offered neither on the flight deck nor on the middeck, where there was usually hustle and bustle, a cozy corner, unless you provocatively used the small curtain that shielded the approximately three square meter small toilet room from the rest of the middeck.
In order to put a stop to this eventuality and not to leave the slightest doubt about a “clean” shuttle, Mark and Jan were consequently banished to two different work shifts of their mission.
So rest assured, there has never been sex on the shuttle or on the American part of the space station. But what about the Russians? More on that in the next part of our series next week.