Just in case you’d ever wondered, you aren’t going to get a job as an astronaut if you’ve ever had heart problems, undergone complex surgery or happen to be pregnant at the time. The reason being that space does weird things to the human body, meaning it’s not really the best idea to mess around up there if you’re not in peak physical conditions.
But while we’re beginning to get a good idea of what happens to human when subjecting to space-like conditions, we still have no idea what would happen to a baby still developing in the womb, if his or her mother was in space.
All of which is precisely why NASA doesn’t intend to find out anytime soon, having comprehensively barred pregnant women from space flights and administering mandatory pregnancy tests, just in case. Instead, it’s been up to a new film called The Space Between Us to explore the idea, in which a woman finds out she’s pregnant on a shuttle to Mars and summarily has to give birth in space. The
Back in reality, experts aren’t convinced that thigs would even go as smooth as this and are very wary about the prospect of space pregnancies and deliveries anytime soon.
“Based on precious little evidence, there are reasons to be very cautious about deeming the pregnancy process fully safe [for humans in space] and reasons to expect some aspects of development to be affected by microgravity,” commented Jeffrey Alberts, professor of biological and brain sciences at Indiana University who specializes in the effects of space travel on pregnancy and gestation.
From reduces testicle size to sperm abnormalities to decreased sperm count and so on, a lack of gravity really can wreak havoc with the body. And even if it was possible to get by without a hitch, chances are operating a breast pump in zero gravity would throw up a whole world of complications in its own right!