Washington: With talk of space tourism and even trips to Mars, NASA has launched human sperm to the International Space Station (ISS) to test what happens when it gets exposed to zero-gravity environment.
The mission, dubbed Micro-11, technically began on April 1, when NASA sent frozen human and bull sperm on board a Falcon 9 rocket to the ISS, the Inverse reported late on Thursday. The astronauts aboard the ISS will thaw and chemically activate the samples to prepare them for union with an egg.
Using video recording they will track the sperm movements and send them back to Earth for further analysis. “Based on previous experiments, it seems the lack of gravity facilitates sperm mobility,” Fathi Karouia, lead scientist for NASA’s space biology project, was quoted as saying to Inverse.
The experiment could also offer new insights into the ways long-duration spaceflight will influence human reproduction.Though this is not the first time sperm has been sent into space for testing, it could offer new insights into the ways long-duration spaceflight will influence human reproduction.
Moroever, aquatic invertebrates like amphipods, gastropods (pond snails), ostracods and daphnia (water flea) produced their offspring or repeated their life-cycles under microgravity during four months in space, the report said.