As if delivering a baby wasn’t stressful enough of an experience for an aspiring mother to be, a Netherlands-based firm called SpaceLife Origin wants to make things more interesting by delivering the first human baby in space by the year 2024.
The objective would involve lofting a pregnant woman more than 250 miles above Earth with a qualified medical team to perform the procedure in microgravity in a 24 to 36-hour window. Following the successful delivery and stabilization of the newborn, everyone would then return to Earth as a typical astronaut would.
If the idea seems a little out of this world to you, then you’re not alone. Unsurprisingly, the notion of sending a pregnant woman into space to deliver a baby is being met with some criticism, primarily because of the risks associated with such an endeavor.
Not only would the pregnant woman and her yet-to-be-born baby endure excessive forces on their way to space, but she and her baby would receive higher amounts of radiation from space as opposed to delivering the baby from the safety of Earth’s atmosphere. Furthermore, the microgravitational environment could impose delivery complications for everyone involved.
SpaceLife Origin argues that space baby deliveries are inevitable if we’re to move forward with deep space missions and extraplanetary colonization, and while that may be true, are we prepared to start delivering babies in space so soon?
Ethical roadblocks could prevent such a mission from transpiring anytime soon, but it would at least be interesting to see the firm’s detailed plans encompassing how they’d perform what such a risky procedure while still ensuring the safety of all involved.