Did NASA really tell astronauts not to masturbate in space?

Did NASA really tell astronauts not to masturbate in space?

NASA, astronauts, masturbation in space, sperm, Conan O'Brien, Snopes

New York Post recently published an article titled “Astronauts Shouldn’t Masturbate in Zero Gravity, Says NASA Scientist.” The article quickly went viral, leading people to wonder if the Federal Space Agency actually had a problem with astronauts enjoying themselves in space.

The only problem? The MailHis article was based on a misunderstanding.

The Post office the original article quoted Smythe Mulikan, a mechanical engineer working with a NASA contractor in Houston, Texas. Mulikan was interviewed by comedian Conan O’Brien on a recent episode of O’Brien’s podcast, Conan O’Brien needs a friend.

according to MailMulikan reportedly said that NASA would never send skin magazines or adult videos to the International Space Station (ISS) due to fears that “female astronauts could be impregnated by stray fluids.”

“Three female astronauts can be impregnated by the same man in the same session … it finds its way,” Mulikan was quoted as saying Mail as if to say.

However, a closer look by the fact-checkers at Snopes revealed that Mail misattributed the quote to Mulikan when the comment actually came from O’Brien’s comedic co-host Matt Gourley.

In the episode, O’Brien asked Mulikan about the strangest objects that NASA had ever sent to the ISS. Next, fellow podcast host Sona Movsesian asked if NASA had ever sent adult videos into space.

“No,” Mulikan replied. “None of that.”

O’Brien then wondered aloud how it would work if an ISS astronaut would watch such videos.

Gourley said: “Three female astronauts can be impregnated by the same man from the same session.”

Conan then asked, “Because the sperm is flying around?”

“Uh-huh,” Gourley said. “And find the way.”

However, some other countries broadcast adult films for their astronauts to enjoy while in orbit, according to space historian Peter Pesavento. Pesavento published the claim in a 2001 issue of the scientific journal Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly.

“When NASA astronaut Norm Thagard became the first American to live aboard Mir in 1995, he was surprised to find the outpost’s video library filled with a large selection of French and Italian erotic films,” Chicago Tribune wrote, summarizing part of Pesavento’s journal article. “Psychologists had asked the Russian crew to view the films confidentially during the final stages of the mission.”

In astronaut Michael Collins’ 1989 book Take off, he said a medical adviser encouraged astronauts to masturbate in space to prevent prostate problems. In 2020, Vice News said the Russian space agency sent cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov “colorful” footage and offered to give him an inflatable sex doll for his 14-month venture into space. Polyakov reportedly rejected the doll, joking that he was worried he might be more attracted to it than to human women.

In 2000, several publications quoted a French author as saying that astronaut couples aboard the 1996 Columbia space shuttle “tested 10 sexual positions in weightlessness using a variety of aids, including elastic belts and an inflatable tunnel.”

NASA pointed out that the flight actually consisted of seven men, and Internet experts later discovered that the French author had based his claim on a fake NASA document.

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