A startup has announced plans to send a pregnant woman to space to give birth. Will this be the first baby born in space?
SpaceLife Origins aims to answer all our questions about reproduction in space. The team consists of several entrepreneurs and “business experts” as well as a small team of science advisors. Their 2024 mission, dubbed “Mission Cradle” aims to have the first human baby born in space.
Their website doesn’t include a terrible amount of detail as to exactly how this mission will go down. But it does specify it will last 24-36 hours, and involves a pregnant woman and a “trained, world class medical team” being launched 400km above earth to a space station. There, the woman will give birth before both she and the baby are returned to the surface. The website also adds that a “carefully prepared and monitored process will reduce all possible risks.” But, as you can imagine, people are still very concerned about the possible risks.
For starters, this plan involves putting a very pregnant woman under extreme g-forces. Astronauts typically experience roughly 3x the force of gravity during rocket launches, and it can be even more if something goes wrong. We don’t know what this amount of force would do to a human mom or child. Then there are concerns about the safety of actually delivering a baby up there- with no gravity to hold the mother to a delivery bed or the doctors to the floor- things get complicated quickly. And don’t even get me started on the bodily fluids.