A scientist and chief executive of a space research company claimed that the first childbirth in space could happen in more than just a decade from now. The scientist noted that this could be possible through the special space missions that the company is preparing.
Dr Egbert Edelbroek, the founder and chief executive of SpaceBorn United made his surprising statement during his appearance at the first Space and Science Congress hosted by the space nation Asgardia in Germany.
As noted by Edelbroek, the main objective of his company is to study the possibility of human reproduction in space. The company official explained that SpaceBorn United aims to accomplish its goal by launching missions that will provide pregnant women with the opportunity to give birth in space.
According to Edelbroek, the company's first mission, as well as the first childbirth in space, could take place sometime in 2031. He said that the same procedures carried out by in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics can also be applied to SpaceBorn United's missions.
"This is only possible, for now, in Lower Earth Orbit, and it is only possible thanks to a very thorough selection procedure," Edelbroek said as quoted by Metro.
"You can induce the labor process like they do in IVF clinics on a daily basis," he continued. "Planning is, of course, an issue – it is hard to plan a natural process like this if there is something wrong with the weather, or a delay with the launch."
Once the company's missions are ready, Edelbroek said each of them will be able to accommodate up to 30 patients per launch. Each of these missions could last up to 24 to 30 hours depending on how long the patients will go into labor.
"We could never work with just one pregnant woman. We would have maybe 30 participants and they could step out at any moment," Edelbroek explained. "But the experts that we work with, they believe, and I believe, that this is possible at a lower risk level than an average Western-style delivery on Earth."
Edelbroek did not go into details regarding the type of spacecraft that SpaceBorn United will use for its future missions. It is possible that the company will work with other private firms such as SpaceX or Blue Origin for launches into low-Earth orbit.