Monday, October 30, 2006

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Says, "No" To Sex in Space

Sex in Space: bizarre reactions

by Laura S. Woodmansee
10-30-06
The Space Review

Sex in Space (Book)     I am amazed how many people in the United States are so intimidated by the word “sex” and are unwilling to discuss its consequences. My latest book, Sex in Space, tackles both the fun and serious sides of this currently neglected topic. It’s not just my opinion that the possibilities of sex in space need more attention. This is the recommendation of a 2005 report from the US National Academies of Science. Yet I have encountered all sorts of bizarre problems when bringing up the topic of sex in space. Apparently, some people just don’t understand that the book is intended to spark the public’s interest in space exploration, settlement, and tourism. To illustrate my case, here are some examples.

Sex in Space was sold at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) store for the first month after Apogee Books released the book. It was doing very well, so the store manager invited me to do a book signing. The trouble began as soon as a cheery book-signing announcement was emailed to all personnel at JPL. Unbeknownst to me, the store simply isn’t allowed to do book signings because JPL can’t be seen as endorsing a commercial product. The JPL store personnel simply made a mistake by booking my signing. However, what happened next is ridiculous. First, a liaison to the store e-mailed an announcement to all personnel—thousands of people at JPL—citing “ethical reasons” for the cancellation of the signing. This, of course, prompted many people to contact me to ask exactly what it was that I did wrong. The implication is that I did something unethical. I’ve done nothing wrong, which the JPLers involved have assured me of via several telephone conversations. A simple clarification sent to the same distribution list (all personnel) as the previous announcement would have fixed things. To date, no such email has been sent. Second, those involved ordered my Sex in Space books pulled from the store. Apparently the title “Sex in Space” is just too racy. Perhaps I should have titled my book, “The Possibilities of Human Reproduction Beyond Earth.” Oh, yes, the general public would have been so interested.

More . . .

See Also: Rural Man Claims Sex With Alien!

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