Sexual desires Essay

This essay has a total of 583 words and 3 pages.

Sexual desires

Astronauts and cosmonauts have lived in space for prolonged periods in the past, but the
numbers on any one stint have been few. When the station is completed, crews of seven
will serve tours of duty of up to 180 days. And proposed missions to Mars could take two
and a half years to complete. Naturally, sexual behavior might occur on such long
missions. It is a topic, however, that makes NASA publicists uneasy--as if the issue
could somehow make astronauts seem to have less of "the right stuff." (Rumors of
unofficial orbital couplings abound, but no one is talking.) Yet sexual tensions could
affect crew performance and thus mission success. "It's just one more problem that can
potentially cause the whole thing to come apart," says retired astronaut Norman E.
Thagard. Of course, sex is only one of the psychological components facing a space crew;
isolation, loneliness, bickering, and habits of colleagues can come into play. Besides
space living, long-duration missions in the Antarctic, nuclear submarines, offshore
drilling platforms and other remote-duty environments have provided insights. In all
these locales, researchers have found, teams can become divisive, even hostile. The
anger, jealousy, anxiety, and depression that often evolve have, in the worst cases,
compromised mission goals. "If a small number of folks are going to be forced to be
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