FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

 


 



1. What are SpaceLife Origins’ Unique Selling Points?

1. We focus on enabling human reproduction in space.

2. Our added value lies with the fact that we accelerate the process / research.

3. Increasing awareness in the public domain to achieve a higher priority for this topic by relevant parties.

4. Connecting (abstract technological solutions, high -tech, connecting a bigger broader group of experts to a subject, etc.).

2. Why doesn't NASA or SpaceX address the challenges concerning reproduction in space? Why can SpaceLife Origin do this more effectively?

Long-term projects from government aerospace agencies, such as NASA, suffer a great deal from alternating government policies and funding. The projects depend on great public support (taxpayer accountability) with the result that potentially controversial challenges can only be addressed with a very reserved pace. With the everyday increasing threats to life on earth humanity cannot afford to wait for progress in its’ current phase. Also, large organizations can be obstructed by their broad spectrum of activities, that can be endangered if one project is compromised (because it can be perceived as controversial). SpaceLife Origin offers the solution for these challenges, because it is a focussed, flexible and independent organisation that can accelerate to the required pace.

3. Why these missions?

Humanity is facing increasing threats to life on earth. Asteroid collisions, super volcano eruptions, global warming, overpopulation and artificial intelligence may lead to an inhabitable earth in as soon as a hundred years. It is uncertain if these problems will be solved in time. Therefor NASA and SpaceX (a.o.) are planning colonizing missions to the moon and Mars as back up plans. Colonizing has no future without learning how to reproduce in space. Our missions provide these learning steps. 

4. How will SpaceLife Origin be certified by safety agencies and regulators?

In the Space Sector it is only possible to work with certified parties, therefore SpaceLife Origin will be working via required protocol. We comply with the highest norms and regulations in the ethical, medical, technical and legal domains.

1. Once the Ark is in space, can participants still have access to their cells?

Samples of their cells are stored on secure locations on earth. These cells can easily be accessed. The samples inside the space Ark are only used if human life on earth is seriously challenged. In that case the cells are used to repopulate earth as soon as that challenge has diminished. Next to repopulating earth the cells can be used to populate back up colonies like the moon and Mars. Initial Moon-colonies are expected around 2025 and Mars-colonies around 2040.

2. How can the Arks in high Earth orbit be accessed when necessary?

The exact position of the Arks in space is permanently monitored and will also be shared with back-up colonies as soon as they are operational. In the event are these Arks need to be accessed spacecrafts can retrieve them. The satellites containing the Arks have thrusters and can be interfaced by nearby spacecrafts for safe retrieval.

3. How can you guarantee a diverse genepool in each of the Arks?

SpaceLife Origin aims for a diverse genepool in each of the Arks to represent earths’ population. As soon as the business model allows to contribute to this goal we will be more strict in determining diversity. In the first 75% of the Arks most seats will be bought by participants. The remaining 25% seats will be donated by participants of less fortunate regions. Subsequent missions will increasingly mirror earths’ diversity.

4. How will SpaceLife Origin be certified by safety agencies and regulators?

In the Space Sector it is only possible to work with certified parties, therefore SpaceLife Origin will be working via required protocol. We comply with the highest norms and regulations in the ethical, medical, technical and legal domains.

5. How will the unique technology for this mission be developed and protected?

The technology for our Ark missions is developed by experienced suppliers of life supports systems in space, thermal controls and medical companies specialized in IVF, vitrification and cryo-preservation. This also includes satellite development and launch management. This technology is patent pending and its’ development is supported by universities.

6. How can participants be prepared adequately for this mission?

All participants receive extensive information about the practical, medical en legal aspects of the mission. There will be additional consultation for women about the harvesting process since the procedure for them is clearly more impactful.

7. How is the (medical) staff prepared/involved?

SpaceLife Origin works with partnering IVF-clinics specialized in preparing participants for our missions.

8. Do insurance companies cover risks in space?

Hundreds of people have been to space during the last 60 years. All these people were insured. Currently the commercial space sector is growing exponentially. All these past and future missions are insured and so will our missions.

9. What happens if something goes wrong with the satellite?

Back up cells are stored in secure locations on Earth. In the unlikely event something goes wrong with the sattelite and the cells are damaged, SpaceLife Origin will launch one of the back-up Arks, using samples from the Earth locations.

10. Could an Ark be placed on a moon back-up colony?

Placing an Ark at a back-up colony like the moon is clearly possible. We are exploring more detailed options for our near-future missions.

11. How is the privacy of participants and their information guaranteed?

All medically relevant information of our participants is considered delicate and privacy sensitive and therefore strictly confidential. We keep all information with the Arks in our secure locations on earth and will adhere to the highest legal and medical standards in privacy. Every sample contains a microchip with medically relevant information (necessary for population diversity requirements). This applies to the data on earth and the data on the chips on board the space Arks.

12. Am I a suitable candidate?

We are working on finalizing the selection criteria.

13. When will be the first selection?

We are accepting participants right now! Please email us directly for more information: info@spacelifeorigin.com. An application form will be online shortly.

1. How will the unique technology for Lotus missions be developed and protected?

The technology for our Lotus missions is developed experienced suppliers of re-entry devices, life support systems and radiation shielding and medical companies specialized in embryo-incubators. This also includes satellite development and launch management. This technology will be patented and reviewed by our partner universities.

2. How are the embryos protected against radiation during conception and early development?

In deep space there is no natural protection against radiation from space. The further away from Earth, the smaller the protection form Earths atmosphere and magnetosphere. The embryo incubator is surrounded by materials designed to protect against different types of radiation. To further minimise these risks participants will be selected on high radiation tolerance and the embryo’s tolerance can be maximised safely with pharmaceutical enhancers. Also low-radiation-orbits around Earth will be used and radiation-solar-weather-events are carefully avoided.

3. How can participants be prepared adequately for these missions?

Missions Lotus: All participating women are selected on strict health conditions to ensure the development of healthy embryos. Also the reproduction cells of the participating men will therefor be examined on quality. Both men and women will be psychologically evaluated to assess their ability to raise a child conceived in space.

4. How is the (medical) staff prepared/involved?

SpaceLife Origin works with partnering IVF-clinics specialized in preparing participants for our missions. Gynaecologists and fertility doctors will evaluate eligible candidates. After re-entry embryologists will check the embryos before they are placed in the mothers wombs. The pregnant women will be monitored and guided during their pregnancies.

5. Could conception in a zero gravity environment have negative effects on embryos?

The technology we use is designed to induce a normal gravity level inside the embryo incubator, hence negative effects due to zero gravity will not occur. The incubator can generate adjustable artificial gravity levels, enabling research on human embryo development on Moon and Mars gravity levels.

6. Are we not crossing a line by manipulating the natural phenomena of conception and childbirth?

Most modern civilizations can be defined by a growing number of interventions in natural processes in many areas of life. No harm is done as long as they succeed in improving lives and preventing suffering and sickness for many.

7. If a child is conceived (in space) without the natural process of making love, do we really want to embrace that kind of evolution?

This type of evolution is exactly the progress that helps millions of people each year. People that could otherwise not have children of their own. People that rely on more artificial techniques like IVF. Of course they would prefer the natural way, but when that is not an option, people are happy there is an alternative. The same is expected to become true for reproduction in space. Maybe in the future we will find methods that allow the desired natural way.

8. Can participating women change their mind and pull back from the mission after they started?

Joining any of these unique missions can have a serious impact on the life of participating women. Especially missions Cradle. Pregnancy itself is already an impactful and life changing event. It is hard to imagine the additional impact carrying a baby that is conceived in space, with the world watching every step. For these reasons there is only one human way of answering this question. Every woman taking part in this historical mission can change her mind and pull back at any moment, in any case, for any reason.

9. Do insurance companies cover risks in space?

Hundreds of people have been to space during the last 60 years. All these people were insured. Currently the commercial space sector is growing exponentially. All these past and future missions are insured and so will our missions.

10. What happens if something goes wrong with the satellite?

Back up cells are stored in secure locations on Earth. In the unlikely event something goes wrong with the incubator and the cells are damaged, SpaceLife Origin will launch one of the back-up incubator, using samples from the Earth locations.

11. Am I a suitable candidate?

We are working on finalizing the selection criteria.

12. When will be the first selection?

We are accepting participants right now! Please email us directly for more information: info@spacelifeorigin.com. An application form will be online shortly.

1. Is it responsible to expose a vulnerable pregnant woman and her unborn baby to the risks of being launched into space?

Initial research clearly indicates that all possible risks (both medical and technical) of the mission can be successfully reduced to a risk level below the level of optimal childbirth on earth in a western hospital.

2. Why should we ask a woman to give birth in a small environment that has only limited options for dealing with childbirth?

Initial research clearly indicates that all possible risks (both medical and technical) of the mission can be successfully reduced to a risk level below the level of optimal childbirth on earth in a western hospital.

3. How will SpaceLife Origin be certified by safety agencies and regulators?

In the Space Sector it is only possible to work with certified parties, therefore SpaceLife Origin will be working via required protocol. We comply with the highest norms and regulations in the ethical, medical, technical and legal domains.

4. How will the unique technology Cradle missions be developed and protected?

The technology developed for mission Cradle will also be protected by patents. Medical procedures and protocols enabling giving birth in space are defined by experts in gynaecology, obstetrics and fertility. Processes for participant selection, guidance and training/preparation have been defined. We will be working with suppliers who enable g-force friendly transport of the pregnant mother and medical staff. Meetings with these suppliers’ c-level management are in progress. 

5. How can a pregnant woman be exposed safely to the G-forces during launch and re-entry?

Exposing an average pregnant woman to normal G-forces during take-off into space and during re-entry would not be beneficial to the health of this woman or her baby. The mission is therefore engineered in a way that normal G-forces are reduced to a level that is safe for a trained and healthy pregnant woman. To ensure a safe trip into (and back from) space all participating women are selected on strict health conditions and monitored and trained during the full pregnancy.

6. How are the pregnant woman and her baby protected against radiation?

There are strict regulations for astronauts concerning the maximum exposure to radiation. These are based on normal, safe radiation levels that people experience on earth. For this mission the maximum exposure level is reduced to a very safe level for vulnerable pregnant women and new-born babies. Several extra measurements are realised for this purpose: Specific low-radiation-orbits around earth will be chosen and high-radiation-solar-weather-events are carefully avoided. One of the selection criteria concerns the radiation tolerance of participants (these levels vary
significantly between people).

7. How can participants be prepared adequately for these missions?

Professional astronauts undergo a special training that takes several months (on top of years of scientific education), before making a trip to space. Participants in this mission could never meet similar standards. Especially when they are at the end of their pregnancy. Both the spacecraft and the area in space where a woman will give birth will be prepared with only one goal; facilitating optimal surroundings. The comfort level and the G-forces during take-off and re-entry are adjusted for this vulnerable target group. In that way participants need only a fraction of that preparation. Moreover, they are not expected to fulfil complex tasks (besides the major task of giving birth) that astronauts usually prepare for. Next to a medical and mental screening participants will undergo preparations (f.e. simulators and space sickness prevention).

8. How is the (medical) staff prepared/involved?

The medical staff that will accompany the pregnant mother will undergo a special training-program for the unique task of safeguarding the childbirth in a low-gravity environment.

9. How are the risks addressed in space that come with a natural pregnancy?

Initial research clearly indicates that all possible risks (both medical and technical) of the mission can be successfully reduced to a risk level below the level of optimal childbirth on earth in a western hospital. An example of how risks will be minimized is the requirement that participants have had two flawless childbirths. The environment in which the woman will give birth is limited in terms of space. Therefore this environment is designed in such a way that all possible complications that could occur can be dealt with adequately. Furthermore, the pregnant woman is monitored and supported by a world-class team of medical and mental experts, prepared for any event. In that way the risk levels are reduced below average risks of medically supervised childbirth on earth.

10. How can unpredictable childbirth be combined with a planned mission into space?

Childbirth is a natural event that is difficult to predict. Some women give birth after 8 months, some after more than 9 months. How is this uncertainty combined with a carefully pre-planned, two-day mission? How can this result in a safe process of giving birth?

The natural pace of pregnancy can easily mismatch the technical planning of a launch into space. Therefore a group of approximately 25 participants will start their pregnancies at different days. The frozen embryos can therefore be defrosted according to a gradual planning. In that way there is always a number of women at the perfect stage in their pregnancy (ready to give birth) in case of natural, technical, meteorological disturbances. After 8,5 month a baby is fully-grown and can be born in perfect health. After this period childbirth can safely be initiated. This can be done by the use of specific medication (that has been used for he initiation of this process for many years, without compromising the health of the baby or the mother in any way). In the rare occasion that the childbirth would initiate naturally during the short trip to low Earth orbit, this process can be delayed safely with standard medication.

11. Why don't you try the mission with a mammal (with a comparable birthing mechanism) first?

We are considering a scenario with mammals as a test-mission. A substantial amount of research with animals in space has already been done. This raises the legitimate question how many more steps are necessary before the first human can be conceived or born in space. In any case we do consider a scenario with mammals as a test-mission, provided that humanity can afford to wait...

12. Is the temptation not too big for vulnerable candidates to apply for the wrong reasons?

We want to prevent that we attract candidates that are (f.e.) interested because of the expected fame (and possible revenues from its spin offs). To prevent this, all applying candidates are screened thoroughly on their motives. Contracts can redirect all possible revenues to related charity projects only.

13. Are we not crossing a line by manipulating the natural phenomena of conception and childbirth?

Most modern civilizations can be defined by a growing number of interventions in natural processes in many areas of life. No harm is done as long as they succeed in improving lives and preventing suffering and sickness for many.

14. If a child is conceived (in space) without the natural process of making love, do we really want to embrace that kind of evolution?

This type of evolution is exactly the progress that helps millions of people each year. People that could otherwise not have children of their own. People that rely on more artificial techniques like IVF. Of course they would prefer the natural way, but when that is not an option, people are happy there is an alternative. The same is expected to become true for reproduction in space. Maybe in the future we will find methods that allow the desired natural way.

15. Can participating women change their mind and pull back from the mission after they started?

Joining any of these unique missions can have a serious impact on the life of participating women. Especially missions Cradle. Pregnancy itself is already an impactful and life changing event. It is hard to imagine the additional impact carrying one of the babies that could be born in space, with the world watching every step. The event of giving birth in space on top of that is no less than mind blowing. For these reasons there is only one human way of answering this question. Every woman taking part in this historical mission can change her mind and pull back at any moment, in any case, for any reason. Even when that moment is 10 seconds before entering the spacecraft that would bring her and the medical staff into earth orbit.

16. Is a participating woman allowed to make the decision for her unborn child to be subject of one of the missions?

From a legal perspective any mother is responsible for actions that might impose risks to her unborn child and is free to take risks to some extent. SpaceLife Origin has the responsibility to thoroughly select and guide participants in an adequate way in the entire process.

17. Do insurance companies cover risks in space?

Hundreds of people have been to space during the last 60 years. All these people were insured. Currently the commercial space sector is growing exponentially. All these past and future missions are insured and so will our missions.

18. Am I a suitable candidate?

We are working on finalizing the selection criteria.

19. When will be the first selection?

We are still preparing the mission. If you want to be notified when we are ready to accept applicants please leave your email-adres by sending an email to info@spacelifeorigin.com.