A group of reporters asked Poindexter, the commander of space shuttle Discovery during the STS-131 mission, about sex in space, during a visit to Tokyo, Japan.
His response was "We are a group of professionals. We treat each other with respect and we have a great working relationship. Personal relationships are not ... an issue. We don't have them and we won't." [AFP (6-28-2010): 'No sex please, we're astronauts: NASA commander']
Poindexter led the STS-131 mission to the International Space Station that launched on April 5, 2010 for its re-supply trip to the orbiting laboratory. They landed back on Earth on April 20, 2010.
On the 33rd space shuttle mission to the Space Station, the crew of STS-131 consisted of four men and three women: commander Alan Poindexter, pilot James P. Dutton Jr. and mission specialists Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Rick Mastracchio, Naoko Yamazaki, Clayton Anderson and Stephanie Wilson.
The Discovery crew delivered a multi-purpose logistics module filled with science racks to the International Space Station.
During the mission, Anderson and Mastracchio performed three spacewalks to replace an ammonia tank assembly, retrieve a Japanese experiment from the station's exterior, and replace a rate gyroscope assembly on the S0 element of the truss of the Space Station.
Page two continues with more about sex in space, or, at least, the apparent lack of sex in space.
In all, four women and nine men were onboard the International Space Station. See the video 'Station Crew Bids STS-131 Farewell' of the Discovery crew and ISS crew saying goodbye ('sayounara' or "sayonara") after the shuttle crew's stay on the Space Station.
Sex in space has not been talked about too much in the past. The March 2, 2000 Space.com article 'Sex in Space' states 'NASA does not ban sex between crewmembers.'
And, Ed Campion, a spokesperson for NASA, states, "We depend and rely on the professionalism and good judgment of our astronauts. There is nothing specifically or formally written down about sex in space."
Several books have been written on the subject of sex in space. And, different space agencies around the world have various views on it. Please read the Space.com article in more detail for further information on sex in space.
And, the July 24, 2006 MSBNC article 'Outer-space sex carries complications' furthers the subject with the statement 'Having sex in the weightlessness of outer space is the stuff of urban legends and romantic fantasy '” but experts say that there would be definite downsides as well. Spacesickness, for instance. And the difficulty of choreographing intimacy. And the potential for sweat and other bodily fluids to, um, get in the way.'
Page three concludes.
One article by The Guardian called 'Astronauts test sex in space - but did the earth move?' included statements that experiments with sexual positions were held on the International Space Station. The article was later edited with the statement 'In the story below, the Nasa report cited by Pierre Kohler proved to be a hoax.'
It was also written about in the Wired.com article 'The 100,000-Mile-High Club", but without a later note that the experiment did not occur.
The topic of sex in space has been speculated about and sometimes disputed in the past. The STS-47 mission included two astronauts who were married: Mark C. Lee and N. Jan Davis.
For decades, sex has been a taboo subject for space travel, mostly because we only went into space for days, or at most weeks. But, now we are into the realm of months, and maybe soon years.
Eventually, sex in space will be a regular part of living in space, as it is here on Earth.
However, for the time being, we'll have to say sayounara to sex in space. Wait, though, private citizens will be regularly going into space onboard Virgin Galactic flights and other such flights, maybe, beginning as early as 2012. We might expect something different when such space tourists head to outer space.
Just for imagination sake, read the Space.com article "Sex in Space: Imagine the Possibilities"