As one of the most famous astrophysicists in the world, along with a TV and radio talent who has brought cosmology back into average conversation, Neil deGrasse Tyson has become a popular person to ask questions about all things space-related.
Fans reach out to Tyson on Twitter and YouTube daily with all sorts of starry questions. But one particular question he was asked recently has everyone wondering the same thing: Is sex different in space than it is down here on Earth?
When Tyson stopped by the TODAY show Monday, Matt Laur was determined to get the answer. He said, chuckling, you’d need “a lot of straps and things to hold things down.” He added that “you learn Newton’s Laws of Motion firsthand when that happens, because you hit and there’s a lot of recoiling.”
When the question was asked on National Geographic Channel’s Star Talk, Tyson went into more detail for questioner Ronnie T. “Everything is different when you are having sex in a weightless environment,” he said. “You need things like straps. There are probably some people who are fully equipped with this anyway.”
OK–don’t get to thinking all Fifty Shades of Grey. He said that last part jokingly.
Tyson went on:
“You begin to see the manifestation of Newton’s Law of motion. You’re there floating in space and then you move towards someone and they just sort of bounce off. The movement is sort of preserved. There is no friction. So if you want to get together and stay together, you need something to keep you together during all the normal body movements that would characterize having sex in space.”
Of course, anti-weightlessness measures would only be necessary if you’re in a zero-gravity ship, he added.
Sex in space has been a sensitive topic for NASA, according to Fox News. Their code of conduct for astronauts states that “relationships of trust” and “professional standards” should be maintained at all times. Hey, if we ever end up living millions of miles high, this may have to change. For exploration is followed by colonization and then, reproduction.
However, Fox revealed that a study was conducted in 2011 in the Journal of Cosmology and concluded that getting pregnant in space would come with several risks. For instance, high-energy particles bombarding the ship would likely sterilize a female fetus conceived in deep space.
Well, its a ways off anyway. Plus, NASA has denied any knowledge of astronauts having real sex in space.