To explore space radiation’s impact on reproduction, scientists sent freeze-dried mouse sperm to the ISS

While billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk were vying to launch themselves into space, scientists have been busy shuttling freeze-dried mouse sperm through the stars.

In new research published Friday in Science Advances, scientists studying the effects of space radiation on reproduction report that freeze-dried mouse sperm weathered a nearly six-year trip on the International Space Station without any damage and could ultimately last for 200 years in space. The finding may not be immediately applicable for civilians eying a trip to space, but researchers believe it could be a stepping stone for understanding risks to reproduction if humans ever colonize Mars, as SpaceX CEO Elon Musk plans to start doing by the year 2050.

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