In a move that's been obvious since the film Barbarella hit the planet, a scientist's research is pointing to the need for sex in space. But it's for a scientific and sensible reason: avoiding frustration on long-term space missions, when crew-members are crammed into a spacecraft, and living in ridiculously close proximity with no possibility of escaping outside for a spot of fresh air.
Dr Jason Kring, from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, is pressing Nasa to investigate sex in space, and possibly even zero-g pregnancy. Apparently there are potential issues like excessive sweating and low blood-pressure effects that might affect zero-g sex, as well as potential difficulties with the pill (like some other medications) which may not work as well in space.
He's also arguing for private spaces to be planned into crew quarters on the next Moon missions. Like drinking and eating, he points out that sex is a basic human function and "It doesn't make sense to assume that these men and women are going to have no thoughts of it for three years." That's an approximate timescale for a round-trip mission to Mars.
His suggestion, in an upcoming Nasa publication is that, like polar explorers, crew members should take a colleague as a temporary lover. Can you predict Nasa's fun-killing response? "We don't study sexuality in space." [The Telegraph]