back to article Elon Musk's mighty erection fires sperm at orbiting space station

NASA will study the feasibility of human reproduction in space, it announced on Monday. We know what you’re thinking. And no, it doesn’t involve astronauts having cosmic-nookie in zero-g conditions. NASA doesn’t appear to have an official policy about getting it on in the heavens; it’s not strictly forbidden, but there have …

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  1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    LOHAN

    Whatever happened to LOHAN?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: LOHAN

      LOHAN was overseen by long-term El Reg staffer Lester Haines.

      As far as I understand/can recall: the device used a rocket motor that couldn't be legally launched in Europe, so it had to go to the United States for firing. It required a permit from the US aviation watchdog, the FAA, however officials couldn't decide how to classify it - whether it was a drone or a rocket.

      They were busy rewriting the rules for drones at the time, and seemed hesitant to make a decision before the new regulations were approved, which had all sorts of politics attached to it. So LOHAN was somewhat lost in federal government's bureaucracy.

      In 2016, Lester died, dealing us all a blow in more ways than one. The project has been in stasis since, although not forgotten. We've got our hands on the kit again. There may be movement soon.

      See here and here and here.

      C.

      1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

        Re: LOHAN

        Seems like only yesterday. Where does the time go?

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: LOHAN

          I would say that's the best news I've seen in ages, except it's tinged with the sadness of remembering how much missed he and his great articles here are.

          We definitely need a LOHAN launch in his memory and tribute. I can't believe it's 2 years either...

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: LOHAN

        Why not try a country of negotiable bureaucracy? I bet we could get a Venezuelan* Space Agency authorization for twenty million bolivar fuerte or so (about $400**)

        * Venezuela is 11th on the Corruption Perception Index for 2016; all countries above it are either in actual bombs n shit wars or impossible to openly travel to (Norks). Sorry to any Venezuelans.

        ** $300..... $200 ...

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: LOHAN

          Because the crew would like to stay alive during anx after recovery of the craft?

          Also iirc Venezuela is almost 100% dense vegetation, not great for recovering a balocketplane.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Busy Easter Weekend

    No public holidays at SpaceX it would seem. Iridium mission on Good Friday, ISS mission on Easter Monday.

  3. Kaltern
    Mushroom

    Star Semen Shoots Skyward Showing Surprisingly Satistfactory Space Sperm Sexual Suitability.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Headmaster

      "SpaceX Shoots Star Semen Skyward Showing Surprisingly Satistfactory Space Sperm Sexual Suitability" surely...?

      Excellent effort anyway though :)

  4. frank ly Silver badge

    Doing it the hard way

    "These cells have to be activated before they can start swimming towards the egg. ...The astronauts will do this by adding a chemical mixture to the thawed samples."

    There is an easier and cheaper way of getting a usable sample.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Doing it the hard way

      Wanker

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: There is an easier and cheaper way of getting a usable sample.

      Of bull semen? In zero G?

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: There is an easier and cheaper way of getting a usable sample.

        Of bull semen? In zero G?

        Rumor is that it is produced by the same object which produces Bullshit, so in theory it is possible, but that is a subject of a separate investigation.

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: There is an easier and cheaper way of getting a usable sample.

        I for one would laugh my ass off seeing an astronaut on the ISS trying to deal with a confused and terrified bovine and it's "leavings".

        1. Martin Budden

          Re: There is an easier and cheaper way of getting a usable sample.

          This thread is about bulls, not donkeys.

          Out of curiosity, what would you laugh it off of?

  5. sisk Silver badge
    Angel

    Surely they could find a pair of astronauts who've hit it off and run this experiment the old fashioned way. Of course the experiment would have to be videoed. For educational purposes, of course.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Go

      The Wife & Blakes 7

      Ultra 1: We have collected a great deal of information about Earth and its dominant species, with one important omission. We intend to rectify that deficiency.

      Me: They’ve collected a great deal of information about Earth but they’ve never downloaded a single porn film. I find that very hard to believe.

      Sue: I notice that Tarrant isn’t arguing about this plan of theirs very much. I bet he can’t believe his luck.

      Me: I just hope they win a crystal at the end of this challenge.

      Ultra 1: Has the bonding ceremony begun?

      Sue: Tarrant is always asked that when he’s in bed with a woman.

      A camera records their every move.

      Sue: The dirty perverts. This is going straight on Ultraworld’s Intranet.

      Sue doesn’t understand why the Ultras couldn’t extract the information they needed from Cally.

      Sue: Unless Cally is a virgin, of course. And we all know that’s bollocks. And if they are really that desperate to watch people having sex, why didn’t they get their army of bald accountants to put on an orgy for them? It doesn’t make sense.

      Tarrant: How’s that, darling? More comfortable?

      Dayna: Oh yes. Much better. Thank you, darling.

      Sue: But if you ever put it there again, I’ll kill you.

      Dayna removes a small object from her mouth.

      Sue: She’s picking Tarrant’s pubic hair out of her teeth.

      It turns out that Dayna really has been hiding explosive devices in her cavities after all…

      Me: I don’t think that was the sort of bang they were expecting.

      Sue: At least the earth moved for Tarrant.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Whilst I'm perfectly prepared to have a shag in space - for science - getting tubbed up whilst being video taped is very much a red line for me. Or maybe two blue lines.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        I'm now getting some rather enjoyable flashbacks of Servalan and "White Mischief"...

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Servalan - 40 years on and still able to send my progesterone levels through the roof.

  6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    IIRC there are theoretical studies on the feasibility of human coitus in weightless conditions from around the Skylab days. Not sure about reproduction.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Elastic sheets, secured round the edge. Provides some thrust for re-entry.

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        @TRT: Puts new meaning to bungee jumping

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Theoretical maybe, but practical constraints came from NASA misogyny - Skylab was an all-male affair. Still I hope the boys had fun together.

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Alien

    There's a movie in this story...

    So, the sperm live in the space station for a bit, a gamma ray burst from the sun hits the station. The sperm get sent back to earth and start growing. When they hit semi-truck size, they break free of their lab and start destroying everything on earth while looking for that one woman with whom to breed.... Yeah.. Mars Needs Women updated... B-movie!!! It''ll be uuuuggggeeee. Just need to find the right leading lady.

    Hang on there's been a knock at the door and two gentlemen are delivering me a white coat with extra long sleeves.

    1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

      Re: There's a movie in this story...

      Aww, c'mon, there is no way someone would lock you up for that idea.

      Remeber, one day someone actually came up with the idea 'Lets make a film about a tornado of sharks.'

      And others thought it was genuis...

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: There's a movie in this story...

      Hang on there's been a knock at the door and two gentlemen are delivering me a white coat with extra long sleeves.

      Are you sure they're not there to offer you a production job over at Sci-Fi? They'd probably jump on that script.

  8. eldakka Silver badge

    From the article:

    > but there have been no confirmed cases low-Earth ejaculation so far.

    Now, I am not a doctor or a professional in any other biological science, however, my understanding from vaguely remembered biology classes is that, for a healthy male with normal sexual functionality, it would be literally impossible to go without ejaculating for any significant length of time (I vaguely recall it being ~2 weeks, but let's just say a couple months).

    Unless the male has a medical problem, or undergone some sort of medical procedure, sperm (and semen in general, not just the actual sperm) is being constantly created in the body. At some point the reservoirs fill up and have to be drained to some extent. This typically happens, if someone hasn't had sex or masturbated within the relevant window, during a sleep cycle (often accompanied by sexual dreams).

    Therefore, unless NASA is only sending males with reproductive medical issues, or requiring medical procedures to inhibit such, into space, then it would be impossible that there has not been ejaculation in LEO given there have been many male astronauts who have spent at least a couple months, and more, in LEO on the ISS and Skylab before it.

    All assuming I'm remembering my biology right...

    1. 's water music Silver badge

      confirmation classes

      From the article:

      > but there have been no confirmed cases low-Earth ejaculation so far.

      Now, I am not a doctor or a professional in any other biological science, however, my understanding from vaguely remembered biology classes... [a need to drain reservoirs]

      Emphasis added to confirmed. It just means that they bundle up the dirty sheets and stuff them into old supply capsules without thinking too much about how starchy they are

      1. handleoclast Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: confirmation classes

        It just means that they bundle up the dirty sheets

        This is NASA. They wouldn't use dirty sheets. They'd spend oodles of money on astro-wanking-socks.

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: confirmation classes

          ... those dirty sheets were sent back to disperse in the Earth's atmosphere. Basically you, me and 7bn other people have been inhaling incinerated astronaut jism for the last 30 years. No wonder the world has got so screwed up.

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: confirmation classes

            Blue balls in SPAAAAAACE!

          2. f4ff5e1881
            Happy

            Re: confirmation classes

            The astronauts have to iron the sheets afterwards. In space, no one can hear you steam.

        2. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: confirmation classes

          This is NASA. They wouldn't use dirty sheets. They'd spend oodles of money on astro-wanking-socks.

          True that. Still, with the increase in home working these days they should be better placed to defray their costs in a larger market.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but there have been no confirmed cases low-Earth ejaculation so far

      Don't they have internet on the ISS? Someone should check the browser history...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. biology

    I thought that was only every seven years.

    My bad, thats Vulcans. Or Sheldon, apparently.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Re. biology

      Whats grey & comes in pints....

      Elephants.

  10. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Holmes

    Cows In Spaccccceeeeeeeee

    http://tygerwhocame2t.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-lunar-strangers.html

    Especially given Peter Davison in the role of the Fifth Doctor, one of the captions seems to reinforce his prior role as a vet.

    "but no sooner has he resolved to investigate than the base’s leader, Miss Jackson, recruits him to get to the bottom of the cows!"

    Icon because I still think "I'll get my coat icon" resembles a vet approaching a cow with a well soaped up arm in this situation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cows In Spaccccceeeeeeeee

      Peter Davison also played a cow (well an Ameglian Major Cow) in The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

  11. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    Are they aiming for an Ig Nobel Prize?

    Certainly ticks most of the boxes for a candidate. I do hope they treat every sperm with the reverence it deserves

    I'll get me coat. The long brown one, please.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In years to come we will look back on the mistake that created the Minotaur in space or I may just be talking bull.

  13. Louis Schreurs BEng

    Title

    to me the title of this piece was beyond the threshold of what I can accept in sexual references

    DID NOT READ THE ARTICLE

    1. handleoclast Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Title

      You're right. The title was puerile and laden with innuendo.

      Keep it up, El Reg.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Title

      "this piece was beyond the threshold of what I can accept"

      With enough practise and lube you might find you can accept more.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Title

      Why comment? Surely that's asking for someone to give you one.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Title

      "to me the title of this piece was beyond the threshold of what I can accept in sexual references"

      It appears the new starter has hit the ground running.

    5. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Title

      @Louis_Schreurs_BEng - have an upvote for taking dead-pan humour into orbit. Maybe.

    6. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Title

      Awesome setup! People think comedy is all about the gags, but without a straight man it'll all end up on your face.

  14. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Is this an April fool?

    It sounds like a cock and bull story to me

  15. petef

    Vonnegut

    The less gentle readers are directed to Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “The Big Space F***” published in Again, Dangerous Visions in 1972. The asterisks are mine.

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