With elaborate plans for “colonising” Mars and, eventually, other planets, there has been plenty of discussion on economic, legal and (dangerous) health challenges – not forgetting NASA’s inability to solve the problem of discarding human waste in space.

Yet, very little studies seem to have been conducted on sex in space – an activity which is not only one of the basic biological functions but also the key to human survival. (Until, that is, in vitro fertilisation becomes industrial scale cheap and successful.)

The video above examines the chances of reproduction of human life “beyond the confines of the planet on which it evolved.”

Apart from the difficulty of choreographing intimacy and the potential for sweat and other bodily fluids to, um, get in the way with zero-gravity, there are more critical factors such as motion sickness and exposure to radiation damaging the DNA.

While no human experiment has officially ever taken place, the research did take place on five species – from amoebas to mice. The results, however, are not altogether reassuring.

Sex in space has been a source of speculation for a long time. There were claims of NASA’s experiments in space shuttle mission, but the American space agency had quickly debunked the idea.

As part of the series on Earth to Mars, the website Fiftythirtyeight offers surprising discoveries. Some of the female mice put on the Space Station in 2010 and 2011 stopped ovulating. Also, male pilots and astronauts who have spent time in altered gravity have apparently fathered more female than male babies. These revelations, however, “give rise to more questions than answers.”

We need more research. Till then, here’s the inimitable Neil deGrasse Tyson, TV’s favourite astrophysicist.