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R@Video-tape analysis:

All you want to know about sex in space

The four Medaka fish made a space travel of 15 days. These 
four fish-astronauts performed their successful mating in 
space for the first time among vertebrate animals. From the 
fact that they continued to mate from the very first day of 
the mission, one might assume sex in space is easy. However, 
what we have observed on the video-tapes is that the fish 
had a hard time in sex under the weightlessness conditions, 
especially when male fish has to keep embracing female and 
holding such a posture for an enough time. 

1. Eating in space 

   In this fish, male and female usually 
mate within 2 hours after the light-period 
begins. Thus, a 2-hour video-recording 
(using a 150-minute tape) carried out in 
space, immediately after the light-on, was 
enough to record the mating behavior of 
the fish. All the video pictures taken in 
space were more than 7-hour length, which 
included a continuous 2-hour recording of 
the fish behavior on each of the 3rd, 5th 
and 8th day in the mission. In the post
-flight analyses of these tapes, the space 
life of the four fish-astronauts has 
become clear. From the external 
characteristics each fish can be 
recognized in the video pictures. Let us 
designate the two male fish as A and B, 
females as C and D. For the readers who 
know that each of the four 







  

Fig.1  In space, a fish down left is eating food at the 
food-supplying apparatus. At the back of the aquarium, 
a crew member is sitting and checking the experimental 
procedure. At the center of aquarium, a large air bubble 
was formed and stayed there as seen in the picture.


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