Avoiding the period in space

New research has outlined the techniques available to female astronauts to prevent menstruation in space.

Rather than researching the consequences of women having a period in space, the researchers are recommending that women avoid them completely, something that appears to have been the policy of NASA on ISS. This is a big mistake. The whole point of having a space station is to find out the consequences to the human body imposed by weightlessness. Future space explorers will need to reproduce. We need to know now if that will be possible.


  • pzatchok

    NASA would rather carry a few pills and basically chemically castrate women than make room for some pads and condoms? They would risk the health of the woman for a few pounds of weight? Mass that could be added with just one more launch?
    Why not just surgically castrate all astronauts and then they don’t have to worry about anything at all?

    I am tired of this old idea of a weightless multi year mission to anyplace.

    NASA needs to shift gears and start thinking of how to make simulated microgravity habitats and ships.
    It would solve almost all the problems they are running into.
    Granted it would bring up construction problems but those really do need to be worked out.


  • Tom Billings

    “Why not just surgically castrate all astronauts and then they don’t have to worry about anything at all?”

    Then the women would not be in control, whereas with their own selection of LARC or other method, they would be. When I suggest male contraceptive methods I have female friends who reject them on just that basis.

    “I am tired of this old idea of a weightless multi year mission to anyplace.”

    It’s either that, or greater delta-vee, or greater mass.

    “NASA needs to shift gears and start thinking of how to make simulated microgravity habitats and ships.”

    That would imply to Congress that they are thinking of Space Settlements. Congress, by contrast, has made it clear they want *every* phase of US activity in Space under their thumb, and Space Settlements are messy uncontrollable things at the end of a *very* long string that can be cut from the other end when ISRU is developed enough.

    This is why manufacturing lightweight transiting spacecraft for humans *in*Space* is not funded beyond NASA and DARPA small scale experiments and design concepts like Nautilus-X. Congress wants individual missions that can be presented to their voters as something that can be cut off at will whenever something important (like Mediscare) is threatened. You cannot do that once you make humans too comfortable in Space.

    Being in control is their job number one. It’s what being a progressive politician is for!

  • Andrew_W

    I would bet that most female astronauts choose to use contraceptives to avoid the hassles of having to deal with periods. Suggesting that they go back to having periods as a NASA experiment would not go down well.

  • pzatchok

    I don’t think its because congress wants control.
    Otherwise they would want larger and larger projects like SLS/Orion.
    Something they can funnel more and more pork to their own districts with. Something so big that once started its hard to stop, and has a very long way off end. A continuing project.
    Small fund projects get built and launched to fast for congress to have much chance of stopping or adding funding to. Plus they are easier to find funding for.

    No its NASA who wants total control. Control to keep their own jobs. They have learned from the shuttle program. the bigger the project the better the chance at a life time job.

    Orbital zero-G construction will NOT be done by NASA anymore but by a private contractor who bids for the job.
    With modules prebuilt on Earth and assembled in space. At a small and cost effective manufacturing facility. Small and cost effective compared to Lockheed or Boeing.
    Launched on hundreds of small to medium rockets instead of a few mega lifters.

    NASA is not begging for as AG space station because they know they will not control it and instead a new Congressional oversight board will or God forbid the UN will.
    They have already lost control of launches and never had control of actual manufacturing.

    Private space companies are not even looking at NASA for pilots and or astronauts.
    Heck NASA doesn’t even want the Big allow modules because they themselves didn’t design or manage its construction. They finally, after years or begging, let one dock with the space station. And they plan on kicking that one off in the near future to burn up in the atmosphere. They don’t even want to use it for waste storage. They just want to watch it.

  • Cotour

    Avoid the period, embrace the question mark.

    This all sounds like discrimination to me.

    That is if the rules that are being applied down here on earth also apply in space. Maybe they do not apply because its a bit more no BS real up there? No room for politics? Not enough voters to pander to?

    I am liking Pzat’s idea about the development of a micro gravity environment, I fear that a pregnancy in space will be wrought with problems and possibly death for any female astronauts otherwise.

  • D K Rögnvald Williams

    Has NASA made provision for transgendered astronauts? Non-binary, that is, gender-free astronauts? Did this come up in President Obama’s discussion with an example of the latter yesterday in England?

  • Wayne

    On a more mundane tangent to this topic;

    What sort of air-filtration system is used on the ISS?
    -How much of a problem is encountered ref: accumulated skin cells, hair, “dirt,” “dust,” etc.? Can I assume they do regular “housekeeping” type chores??
    -How “sticky” are interior surfaces on the ISS? >I mean, what happens to stray fluids & food crumbs, in Space? (Tang, is pretty sticky, when spilled on Earth, what happens to “escaped” fluids?)

  • pzatchok

    I suspect that half or more of any astronauts time is spent doing nothing but ‘chores’ like you mentioned.

    Someone who gets 3+ degrees, 2 or more marketable skills, then trains for 10 or more years to go to space.
    All just so they can clean their house and work place 6 hours out of 12. For the rest of the time they do menial lab drudge work that any collage student could do.

    100% paid for by the US tax payers.

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