Space: Japanese firm to launch a sex toy into space this summer for research purposes

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A sex toy will thrust its way into space this summer as a Japanese adult firm sets out to find out how the device performs during spaceflight and in zero gravity.

The space shot is a collaboration between male masturbation aid designer Tenga and civilian spaceflight company Interstellar Technologies Inc

The ‘Tenga Rocket’ will lift off from the Hokkaido Spaceport in north Japan within the next month, depending on weather conditions, and reach an altitude of 62 miles up.

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A sex toy will thrust its way into space this summer as a Japanese adult firm sets out to find out how the device performs during spaceflight and in zero gravity. Pictured: an artist's impression of the Tenga Rocket, left, with an astronaut, right, holding a Tenga masturbation sleeve

A sex toy will thrust its way into space this summer as a Japanese adult firm sets out to find out how the device performs during spaceflight and in zero gravity. Pictured: an artist’s impression of the Tenga Rocket, left, with an astronaut, right, holding a Tenga masturbation sleeve

The large red rocket will carry a specially-modified TENGA Cup device which the firm alleges will cumulate data on the conditions it experiences in space

The large red rocket will carry a specially-modified TENGA Cup device which the firm alleges will cumulate data on the conditions it experiences in space

The rocket (pictured) will carry 1,000 messages from the project's supporters, who helped fund the launch to the tune of ¥1,833,680 (£12,000) via the crowdfunding site Campfire

The rocket (pictured) will carry 1,000 messages from the project’s supporters, who helped fund the launch to the tune of ¥1,833,680 (£12,000) via the crowdfunding site Campfire

On board the Tenga Rocket will be also be two cute action figures ¿ a transforming 'TENGA Robo' and an 'Egg dog', which are styled after two of the brand's popular masturbation sleeves

On board the Tenga Rocket will be also be two cute action figures — a transforming ‘TENGA Robo’ and an ‘Egg dog’, which are styled after two of the brand’s popular masturbation sleeves

TENGA ROCKET SPECS 

Type: MOMO sounding rocket

Height: 33 feet (10 metres)

Diameter: 20 inches (50 centimetres) 

Mass: 1 tonne

Apogee: 62 miles (100 kilometres)

Max. payload: 44 lbs (20 kilograms)

Engine: Helium Pressure-fed engine

Max. thrust: 12 kilonewtons

The large red rocket will carry a specially-modified TENGA Cup device, which the firm alleges will cumulate data on the conditions it experiences in space.

On board will be also be two cute action figures — a transforming ‘TENGA Robo’ and an ‘Egg dog’, which are styled after two of the brand’s popular masturbation sleeves.

It will also carry 1,000 messages from the project’s supporters, who helped fund the launch to the tune of ¥1,833,680 (£12,000) via the crowdfunding site Campfire.

‘The Tenga Rocket will carry messages from our fans and supporters of the project to space — messages of love and freedom from people around the world,’ Tenga president Koichi Matsumoto told IFLScience.

‘Since the company was founded, I’ve firmly believed that there will eventually be a huge need for TENGA in space.

‘Sexuality and its needs are always a part of us, and so I want to take this opportunity, through my chance encounter with [Interstellar Technologies Inc founder] Takafumi Horie, as our first step into space-product development.

‘Some day perhaps, we’ll be able to create something that the likes of NASA will want to incorporate into their endeavours in space.’

According to Tenga, the company’s immediate goal is to be the first sex toy developer to create a masturbation aid specifically designed for use in space.

Such a product, they speculated, would likely need to be equipped with a vacuum facility that can remove lubricant and ejaculate from the device in order to prevent them from floating around in the microgravity environment.

In this way, the toy would work much like the ‘space toilet’ on the International Space Station, which works to suck up astronauts’ liquid and solid waste. 

'The Tenga Rocket will carry messages from our fans and supporters of the project to space ¿ messages of love and freedom from people around the world,' Tenga president Koichi Matsumoto told IFLScience. Pictured: an artists impression of the Tenga Rocket

‘The Tenga Rocket will carry messages from our fans and supporters of the project to space — messages of love and freedom from people around the world,’ Tenga president Koichi Matsumoto told IFLScience. Pictured: an artists impression of the Tenga Rocket

'Since the company was founded, I¿ve firmly believed that there will eventually be a huge need for TENGA in space,' Tenga president Koichi Matsumoto told IFLScience. Pictured: the launch of the Tenga Rocket project earlier this year featured a man-size robot sex toy transformer

‘Since the company was founded, I’ve firmly believed that there will eventually be a huge need for TENGA in space,’ Tenga president Koichi Matsumoto told IFLScience. Pictured: the launch of the Tenga Rocket project earlier this year featured a man-size robot sex toy transformer

The 'Tenga Rocket' will lift off from the Hokkaido Spaceport in north Japan within the next month, depending on weather conditions, and reach an altitude of 62 miles up

The ‘Tenga Rocket’ will lift off from the Hokkaido Spaceport in north Japan within the next month, depending on weather conditions, and reach an altitude of 62 miles up

Pictured: Vanna Bonta and her husband test the 2Suit concept in zero gravity

Pictured: Vanna Bonta and her husband test the 2Suit concept in zero gravity

According to NASA, no astronaut has ever had sex in space — yet, as humanity sets its eyes on crewed voyages further out into our solar system and private spaceflight becomes more common, it is likely only a matter of time until this changes.

Certainly, there have already been some steps in this direction.

In 2006, the Italian-American inventor Vanna Bonta invented 2Suit — a pair of modified flight suit designed hold people together, by means of Velcro straps, in order to facilitate sex in microgravity environments.

While the 2Suit concept has never been tested in space itself, it has been tested in microgravity onboard a plane performing parabolic flights to simulate weightlessness. 

In 2015, adult site Pornhub launched an crowdfunding bid which aimed to raise £2.2 million to shoot a pornographic film in space starring Eva Lovia and Johnny Sins. Ultimately, the funding campaign proved unsuccessful. 

THE DIFFICULTIES INVOLVED IN HAVING SEX IN SPACE

Pictured: a cartoon of astronauts kissing

Pictured: a cartoon of astronauts kissing

As far as we know, no human has ever had sex in space — and the act may be trickier than you think. 

Paul Root Wolpe, a senior bioethicist at NASA, says the logistical difficulty of body-to-body docking in microgravity will probably put astronauts off sex in the first place.

The release of fluids could also cause some problems in microgravity, he added.

Then there’s the fact that gravity helps our blood flow to the lower parts of our body, so in space, blood rises to your head and chest, making an erection problematic. 

Male testosterone levels have also been seen to fall during their time in space, although NASA isn’t sure why this happens.

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