There’s no need to discover life on Mars — not when we could possibly make our own.
Scientists have discovered that sperm can potentially survive on Mars for hundreds of years, meaning that humans could possibly reproduce on the Red Planet in the future.
“These discoveries are essential for mankind to progress into the space age,” lead research author Professor Sayaka Wakayama, a scientist at Japan’s University of Yamanashi, told the Daily Mail of the study.
However, no humans pleasured themselves in the name of science, per the research published Friday in the journal Science Advances. Instead, scientists studied the effects of radiation on a batch of mouse sperm that had been freeze-dried and stored aboard the International Space Station for six years.
Experts previously believed that space radiation would destroy sperm, rendering breeding impossible — or even causing cancer.
However, new analysis revealed that the rodent reproductive fluid was perfectly healthy after its interstellar sojourn. Even subjecting the spunky stuff to X-rays on Earth didn’t affect fertility.
“Many genetically normal offspring were obtained,” said Wakayama, whose team estimates that freeze-dried semen could last aboard the ISS for up to 200 years.
These space-sex findings could prove a major step in our goal of becoming an interplanetary life form, something that scientists deem increasingly essential in light of dwindling resources, the Science Times reported.
“When the time comes to migrate to other planets, we will need to maintain the diversity of genetic resources, not only for humans but also for pets and domestic animals,” said Wakayama of our intergalactic propagation plans.
Sperm isn’t the only thing that can possibly survive the vacuum of space for extended periods of time. Tardigrades — also known as “water bears” — can reportedly live for 30 years without food or water and endure temperatures of 302 degrees Fahrenheit, leading researchers to deduce that these microscopic superheroes could survive on other planets as well.