Space exploration is on the rise. With NASA, billionaires, and other international agencies focusing on space tourism and colonies, a new challenge arises: human reproduction in space.
SpaceBorn United, based in the Netherlands, has developed a miniaturized IVF and embryo incubator. Their goal? To perform conception and early embryo development in space.
Key concerns include the reduced gravity on planets like Mars and its effects on embryo development. Initial research focuses on partial gravity effects, which can also improve IVF on Earth.
Research teams have had success growing mouse embryos outside the natural environment. The aim is to achieve 5 days of growth, first with mice and eventually with human cells.
SpaceBorn's prototype utilizes microfluidic technology. It's a CD-ROM-sized disc with micro channels, streamlining the conception process in space.
The big question: Can we colonize Mars or Venus by 2050? Addressing reproduction in space is crucial, making it a new space race of its own.