NASA Sends Human Sperm to ISS

Recently, the SpaceX launched its CRS-14, a spacecraft capsule bound to the International Space Station and carried 5,800 pounds of equipment, tools, science experiment and foods. Placed somewhere the hardware was some of the bull sperm and frozen human sperm. The purpose of the crew is to find out how this sperm acts in the station where the gravity is zero.

According to NASA, the experiment is called Micro-11, the experiment has two objectives. First, it aims to investigate how this sperm swimmers perform in zero gravity and to understand better whether human reproduction can occur in space. Second, the experiment aims to study the movement of the sperm without the presence of the gravity and how this will affect the way people view this on Earth.

From the previous studies of spermatozoa in space recommends that the lack of gravity might cause some issues. It has also been said that that the broad strokes of people’s reproduction works differently on Earth as compared to space. On earth, when the sperm meets the egg, there is a possibility for fertility. In space, the sperm needs to be activated first just for its little tail to start wagging. After activation, the sperm will build up, and this will move faster which will be prepared for the future fusion that might happen.

As seen during the previous experiment on the bull sperm and sea urchin, the activating movement of the sperm happens quickly with the microgravity according to NASA. However, the steps and possibilities for the fusion might happen very slowly. The problems and the delays during this stage could also prevent future fertilization from happening in space. During the latest experiment, scientists are planning to thaw 12 human sperms and 6 bull sperms and will use a chemical to activate their samples.

With the use of the microscopic camera, a scientist will video the movement of the sperms before preserving them for further analyzation. According to researchers, they are planning to use the sperm of the bull to compare the small changes between the different types of sperm.

Today, scientists aim to intensify their investigation on the possibility of life on space. During 1979, Russia attempts to breed rats on space. Two of the rats become pregnant, but it was reported that both of the rats got a miscarriage. With the newest experiment about sending sperm to space, researchers and scientists believe that future experiments will come to reality.


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