“If humanity wants to become a multiplanetary species, we also need to learn to reproduce in space,” says Kees Mulder, CEO of the Dutch company SpaceLife Origins who wants to make a woman give birth to a healthy baby in Earth orbit, 400 kilometers above sea level.
Before this small step for a newborn, the company will organize two preliminary projects.
The first aims to put small round satellite boxes into orbit, with frozen sperm and eggs.
Anyone who can pay for the service (prices have not been disclosed) will have the pleasure of protecting their gametes from any misfortune that occurs here on the surface of the Earth.
For those who cannot pay for the service, the company announced that 25% of the vacancies will be reserved for people of different ethnicities who will not need to pay any money.
The idea is that the ark contains a reasonable sample of the Earth’s genetic variability, in case one day it becomes necessary to rebuild humanity due to some catastrophe.
In case you’re wondering what the point is in storing your reproductive cells in the vastness of the cosmos rather than somewhere easier to access in the event of an apocalypse, the answer lies in the second project: using them to attempt the first space artificial insemination .
Mastering this technology could be an important step towards future colonization of Mars.
The company guarantees that it will have the necessary technology to collect samples from unmanned arks.
After fertilization, the embryos will spend 4 days developing in space. They will then return to Earth and be implanted in their mothers.
Everything will take place in sealed, radiation-protected incubators, which simulate the gravity we are used to.
If these two steps are successful, at the end of the pregnancy, the pregnant woman will take off with a team of doctors and give birth in orbit, and in 36 hours she will be back on Earth with the baby in hand.
Everything will take place with a level of safety compatible with that of the most modern and well-equipped maternity wards.
The company promises that the mission will be designed in such a way that the pregnant woman is not subjected to G-force that is dangerous for the baby, but it still does not mention the physics behind the feat.
To convince potential customers and public opinion that it is a good idea to learn how to make babies in space, the official SpaceLife Origins website cites apocalyptic predictions such as that human civilization may succumb to artificial intelligence, contact with extraterrestrials, change climate, or all of this together.