2020 promises to be a massive year for space travel.
Elon Musk’s SPACE-X program has been collaborating with NASA to increase the time people can stay in space.
While astronauts have been adapting to ever-longer missions aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Musk's proposed Mars missions would require astronauts to stay in space for years.
NASA’s human research program is dedicated to researching the effects of long-range space travel – including the issues of loneliness and isolation.
Although astronauts work in close-knit teams who have endured rigorous training sessions together, the length of recent NASA missions means that it’s easy to feel lonely and isolated – especially from loved ones at home.
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Despite NASA’s attempts to make sure astronauts are equipped with the items they need to survive and stay connected to Planet Earth, NASA is failing to address one of the most basic, human urges that will affect astronauts – sex.
There’s growing concern that NASA and Musk have forgotten that sex technology will be crucial to aid them on their missions.
Sex in space has rarely been discussed, but if the future of space exploration involves missions that could take up to three years, it is unlikely that space travellers will be able to ignore the desire to have sex for such long periods.
But new developments in technology in this area may be able to remedy this issue for NASA.
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Teledildonic devices, which are essentially sex toys that connect over the internet, have become increasingly popular over the last year or so.
Teledildonics is particularly popular among couples who are in long-distance relationships as it allows them to maintain an erotic connection despite the distance.
Using teledildonics in space would give astronauts that sexual and emotional connection to their loved ones. NASA is as concerned about the psychological effects of long-haul space travel as they are about the engineering challenges – and one teledildonics manufacturer is ready to help.
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Kiiroo is a sex-tech manufacturer in Amsterdam.
They’ve been leaders of sex technology since they created their first device in 2013. Their technology has been used by couples in long-distance relationships, in order for them to remain connected and intimate with each other, no matter where they are in the world.
Now the firm wants to use its expertise to help people in the ultimate long-distance relationship.
Maurice O Bleak, the Chief Technology Officer at Kiiroo and FeelRobotics, has been thinking about the practicalities of using sex-tech devices in outer space.
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“I’m sure it would be possible to get a connection from the International Space Station. Understandably, there would be a huge lag, but it would be possible because the infrastructure for that connection has already been developed. It would be a great way for astronauts to stay connected to their loved ones at home,” he said.
With its new connection, the ISS now has a 600 megabit-per-second (Mbps) connection, doubling the amount of data the station can transmit and receive at any given time, some of that bandwidth could be used for ‘non-essential’ traffic.
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Kiiroo develops devices that can be used by astronauts of all genders – male masturbators for penis stimulation and interactive vibrators for vaginal or clitoral pleasure.
Although there could be some teething issues due to the huge distance between astronauts and Planet Earth, Kiiroo’s devices would enable astronauts to pair their devices up with their partners back at home.
The successful deployment of sex-tech in space will be less concerned with making the technology work, and more about the practical solutions to the conditions in which the devices would be used.
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In zero gravity, using lubricants with sex-tech might be an issue, but this could be rectified by using a solid lube that melts with body heat.
This would allow the lube to be placed inside the device more easily without the help of gravity. There would need also to be some way to remove the lubricant from the air, perhaps with the suction devices currently used by NASA.
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Maurice added: “It’s absolutely crucial that astronauts are given the technology they need to remain stimulated and happy. We don’t want to be in a situation where we hear: ‘Houston – we forgot the vibrators.’
“In the world of sex-technology, we understand the importance of connection, happiness and pleasure. For this reason, we are willing to donate any of our devices to NASA or Elon Musk, so they can make sure their astronauts can remain connected, healthy and happy.”
Whether NASA will accept the offer remains to be seen. We'll keep you updated when the response comes in.
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