To Dine and Kiss in Space
Making love in zero gravity
The Science of a healthy life
Making love, off world.
And some of the many wondrous and perhaps flat out strange things you can expect to encounter during your future romantic, space date.
In our rapidly approaching near future and a few fortunate souls present day reality, the perplexing realities of dating far away from planet Earth will no longer be confined to the silvery screens of yesterday.
Soon a rapidly growing number of people will be able to prepare and plan for romantic weekend dates out and away from Earth´s atmosphere. But beyond the tantalizing, and highly romantic aspect of kissing high up above as you look down back on this blue marble. What else is there to going off the reservate and into the dark unknown?. What about the little everyday things when you kiss, hold hands and make love beneath the stars, way out in space.
Photography by Mike Koontz
music of the day while you are reading our article
The Beauty of bones by Netherbird
Life in Space & baby Feets
The Baby feets of space
A romantic trip to Paris can be complicated enough, but immensely rewarding to carry through with your lover. And a once in a life romantic trip to space, well, that, of course, will truly create moments of everlasting memories to look back at.
But beyond the financial drain, the ticket itself will present. How about the practical side of it.
I am of course talking about the everyday reality of you never being able to go outside for a morning walk in the fresh spring rain. The missing wildlife and flocks of ravens, the missing woodpeckers that play their never ending drum like serenade.
All the things you already know of and take for granted down here.
How will spending your day in space instead of down here on Earth really affect you. So before you take off, have you considered the lack of sustainable amounts of water to drink and shower in (or in fact, any kind of sustainable amounts of the beverage you enjoy, day in, day out down on Earth).
There are, after all, no strawberries growing beyond our blue spheres shelter. No apples and no corn and peanuts, no one that can pick more coffee beans for you to grind and brew once Friday approaches.
In fact, up there, in space, at some point, you do have to drink your own recycled urine.
Well, unless we are talking about a short weekend trip that is ( or greatly improved tech breakthroughs, which of course will happen at some point ).
But let´s not do that, let us contemplate upon going out into space for 12 months or longer and the lasting impact of that on you. Perhaps you embarked upon a several year long trip to another planet.
Or you and your two hot lovers romantic one week trip ended in a sci-fi like catastrophe and you are now, all stranded far away, outside our blue atmosphere.
No clouds to shelter you
No clouds to shelter you, no rain to quench your thirst, no rescue choppers. Not even a parachute to skydive back to Earth like a daredevil hero. You are for the next 12 month, trapped in space. Heck, you can't even brew your morning coffee anymore because the supply ship which has to restock your extremely limited supplies crashed too.
By accident or choice, here you are, stranded in space, and there are no secret little islands floating by that will show up with raw coconuts and little critters to feed upon. No beaches with pale blue water to swim and dive in, and no fish to bbq over an open fire.
the masseuse said
the softest feet
I've ever felt in my whole life. ]
Scott (Nasa Astronaut) lets us in on one of the perfectly logical little secrets of life in space that might have escaped your bucket list considerations. But you have to admit, this nice little extra gratis "world-class pedicure" for the ladies makes going up into space for a romantic, luxurious 2-month vacation even better doesn't it.
Perhaps Virgin can sell their coming commercial vacation trips as "better than botox" =).
“We don't use the bottom of our feet much. Over time any calluses on our feet kind of fall off. After about five months up here you have baby feet. When I got back from my last flight… I was getting a massage… and the masseuse said, 'You have the softest feet I've ever felt in my whole life.'
And my response was, 'Thank you, I'm very proud of them.' ”
[An Orange a Day
Keeps Scurvy Away]
But your clothes and dinner do float too.
The outcome of those differences between life in space and down on Earth is that our bones break down faster in space. Our internal fluids get switched around. Cancer growth accelerates, our feet goes baby smooth and so forth, and so on.
There are positives, such as the smooth baby feets, and getting to see 10 000+ sunsets and sunrises in one year!. But be aware of the negatives such as the loss of muscle mass and bodily fluids floating in air, as well as inside of your body :).... Something which amongst other things quite recently have been shown to also change the fluids in your brain and eyes, causing on one hand, long lasting visual impairment for a big chunk of astronauts.
The changing of internal fluids
But those changing fluids have also revealed in recent brain scan studies to actually alter the physical size and shape of our brains gray matter!. Which might be inconsequential for you, but it could also be something that makes going into space a dealbreaker for you. And more importantly, right now, all we know is that our gray matter changes in shape and amount, but we do not know exactly how that affects our intellectual and cognitive capacity or the long term effects. But one thing is for sure, going into space changes our body and mind in profound ways.
A short quote from a recent study on the brain of 20+ NASA astronauts.
“We found large regions of gray matter volume decreases, which could be related to redistribution of cerebrospinal fluid in space,”
- Seidler, one of the scientists involved in the study explained.
And later, we will get back to the fluids changing around inside of your own body in the context of romance. Because no matter how big or small those things sound like to you from the comfort of your Earthbound bed, they are a practical reality of going out in space, and they will impact each and every one of us that do venture off-world one day in the future. Making life in space for coach potatoes perhaps not a downright impossibility but a very unpleasant prospect to do. And finally, some of these things do not go back to their previous state just because you came back to Earth.
Quite a few astronauts have suffered significant reductions in muscle mass and mineral bone density ( lower body ), as well as long lasting issues with their spine and lower back. There is the accelerated cancer risk and, accelerated aging none the least.
A weaker heart muscle is, of course, nothing to overlook either.
And these things happens despite modern day astronauts spending hours every single day of their month long trips working out, lifting weights and doing cardio.
Going to space is not just a dream, it is a truly romantic adventure, and one I would love to one day do with that one delicious person by my side. But it also presents real, long lasting negatives for your health and well-being, and even more temporary obstacles.
Some things to consider, once you undress your two hot lovers up in space, their lingerie will silently float away down the space hotels interiors. So please, do not forget to close the door behind you prior to the undressing.
You might not be shy enough to care about that door, and that is fine :).
I am simply considering how quick and easy you guys will manage to get dressed again once you are all happy and pleased. And of course, those bodily fluids. Its not just what might come out of you that will float :).
So keep in mind that there is a huge initial adaptation for the body to cope with, so even if the mind and heart are all naughty aroused, things might not work as you expect them to do, things have changed on the inside too for both guys and girls. Things to consider and overcome for sure, but the mile high club is without a doubt much easier to claim a membership in than the naughty space club will turn out to be :).
And please remember your oranges beyond our pale blue atmosphere.
An orange a day was once a life saver for hundreds of people casting off to go to sea. Scurvy used to be a deadly curse amongst any kind of sailor that spent too much time out on the open waters. The cure was to take a slice from the pages of "fit and active & healthy" and as such, once the boats started bringing oranges with them to supplement the essential vitamins that we need, not just to remain healthy, but to survive the trip, that was what the sailors too did, survived the trip that is.
This old curse of traveling across the oceans is now something that is for obvious reasons a very real issue with prolonged space travel.
And that orange have to go hand in hand with hours of daily weight lifting and other healthy, daily lifestyle choices just to remain somewhat healthy and functional up there.
From the orange to the apple, to the weight lifting and daily need for cardio. Vitamin D and C, calcium, gravity, proteins and water - and real sunshine. Life in space, no matter if you travel through it on a moving station or spend your time using your own two feet traversing another planetary surface will need sustainable farming and healthy habits in food and activity even more than life on Earth does.
Assuming that most space tourists actually will want to re-enter Earth as healthy as possible.
And all these aspects, the differences that is, severely decreases your health. Some of them, like the old case with oranges on boats, leads to life-threatening issues like Scurvy. While others, like the loss of bone mass and a weaker heart, is aspects that just does not go away by itself once you land back on Earth again. Bone mass and muscle mass can and will over time recover with the right amount of training, but there are no guarantees that you will ever recover completely from a 12 month trip to space. At least not as things are right in the here and now.
kisses and touches, and your motion sick brain
And as such, since you are now trapped up there. In the dark where no one but your crew and lovers can hear you.
Kissing and touching will, of course, feel as normal. The lack of gravity and the initial confusion and "morning/motion" sickness the first few days due to the conflicting information that your inner ear and eyes will feed the brain does not take away your hearing, your sight, nor your ability to feel the sensation of touch against your skin. So the sensation of touch and arousal will be there.
But the sum of it all does make things interesting.
Without gravity, well, making love and just touching each other will prove a completely different kind of workout and experience than it normally does. Just as how daily life will be a different beast altogether.
Throwing your socks and underwear to the side works great on Earth, things tend to just fall where you throw it down here. But when you hurry to undress your hot lover up in space, her bra will just float away. Your food and bodily fluids too :P..
And yes, I did mention the fact that most astronauts end up feeling quite motion sick the first few days. It is simply not that instant for your finely tuned senses to readjust. Down on Earth, your ear and entire balance system is perfectly in sync with what your eyes are seeing, two different sensory system feeding your brain 24/7 behaving exactly the way nature has intended for it to perform and interpret the surrounding world and its every behaviour and response.
But up in space, all of a sudden your inner ear is telling your entire body and mind that hey guys, we are fuck..ing falling!. But your eyes are perfectly fine, saying, no worries brain, we are just slowly floating, and it looks damn cool too!. So, my point is, making love might not happen the first or second day on your romantic space flight, you might all feel far too ill for that.
But more importantly is that for each month spent, your body will deteriorate a lot quicker than it ever could on Earth. Your spine will crumble and grow longer! And all while your feet are growing smoother, your muscle mass will shrink and disappear like vapor in the burning sun. Your cardiovascular performance, in general, will vanish with the pace of the speeding sun that shines and radiates stronger than ever up here. And a weaker muscle is not just about lifting weights but your mind and heart as well.
Back down on Earth again, your spine is weak and your feets will soon know how it feels to crumble
So much so that the day you are saved and step right back on Earthly soil, you will have a hard time even standing upright (which more than one Nasa astronaut can tell you about)
Internally you will be like a really old, sedentary and weak version of yourself, or why not go to the other side of the scale, a weak newly born of chubby wonders and no bodily control or real strength, made so because what you just did by spending time in space was the equal of going through an accelerated crash course in decades-long sedentary life and with it, all the major negative health effects of you doing such a life came.
Research indicate that for some, even with hard daily work and the right nutritions, as little as 50% of your bone density will have been restored after 9 months back on Earth.
Facts are, for life in space to become a healthy reality for more than a select few. Our society will have to adapt a truly active and healthy, sustainable way of life in combination with all the modern day technology that can help us achieve that in an extremely limited and hostile space. For anyone spending a prolonged time in space, lifting weights and doing serious amounts of cardio on a daily basis, is a must.
Nothing optional about it, just plain reality.
So is eating healthy food and drinking water. And thus, comes the need for the ability to grow new and healthy food while up in space (which is already an ongoing experiment on the ISS).
You can simply forget all about all the Battlestar Galactica drunken parties up in space. Healthy and active, safe living day in and day out is what it is all about.
On the plus side is that making love and kissing is certainly part of a healthy life. So you and your lovers should certainly keep that up in the ways you can.
Not only will it make being stranded in space far more fun, but it will also help you in your daily quest to remain your healthy and sane self.
Up in space, the importance of that daily quest is even greater than it ever was down on Earth, a simple reality resulting in up to two hours of exercise each and every day for current day astronauts, and yet, all international astronauts still suffer from their time spent in space.
NASA "Twin Study talks at the press club"
Ready, Set go!.
And the food bit, as I mentioned we already experiment with growing food in space, and down here, it is already possible to grow strawberries and tomatoes and other greens all year-round no matter the weather and season outside (click & grow is a pretty good example).
But such technological breakthroughs, improvements in long-term and sustainable energy production, even better water recycling, less resource consuming foods and greens and even more effective ways of growing them are still needed. Perhaps not for weekend long vacation trips, but for anything longish those things will be essential.
A reality that also in no way limits just how awesome it is that we can soon take off on a romantic cruise in space :).
Photography by Nasa, Surface view of Pluto, showcasing both the Sputnik Planum and 11 000 feet high mountain Norgay Montes.
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