These researchers pose a wild question: Should NASA send sex robots into orbit?

Dry Spell

As space agencies work to launch crewed missions deeper and deeper into space, they tend to overlook one crucial variable: astronauts are people, meaning they sometimes get horny.

That's the problem presented in an essay published in The Conversation last week: that NASA and other groups are failing to prepare for crewmembers' human needs. In other words, astronauts may face undue psychological and mental strain due to space abstinence.

Mission: Uranus

In order to accommodate astronauts' needs, the Conversation essay argues that space agencies should embrace high-tech sex toys, and especially AI-enabled sex robots that could act out the role of a partner.

"Astronauts, despite their rigorous training, remain humans with needs," write the essay's two authors: Concordia University psychology grad student Simon Dubé and Dave Anctil, a Université Laval researcher focusing on the societal impacts of AI.

Because crew sizes will be extremely limited, they argue, human relations would be ill-advised due to the low chances people find a compatible partner and the risk of an awkward breakup. Ergo, sexbots.

Deep Space

The problem is that a growing number of experts are rallying around the idea that sex robots, even with AI-crafted semblances of human personality, are a poor replacement for human partners — at best.

If an astronaut is a digisexual regardless, more power to them. But to others, getting an official NASA-issued sexbot before lift-off might make a long journey to space seem even lonelier and psychologically-damaging than before.

READ MORE: Sex in space: Could technology meet astronauts’ intimate needs? [The Conversation]

More on romance: Evolutionary Biologist: Mars Colonists Will Mutate Really Fast

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