[Chapter3Section7]


7:The first successful vertebrate mating

As mentioned in Chapter 1, before the launch of the shuttle, the four fish have been given names by boys and girls of Young Astronaut Club in Japan. The names were Genki (means 'active' in Japanese, male fish called A), Cosmo (as meant in English, male B), Miki ('future', female C) and Yume ('dream', female D). Cheered by many Japanese children, having overcome the troubles due to the weightlessness and the complexity of love and hatred, the four fish-astronauts accomplished their important mission of mating and laying eggs in space and of having their eggs developed till hatching as baby fish.
Twenty years ago, in days of Skylab (1973) small fish (Fundulus) were sent to space, where they continuously looped. Between such looping fish, nobody expected mating performance at all. People turned to think of mating of mice or rats in space. In space these animals however floated in air, desperately trying to cling onto the cage wall, having no thought at all of coming closer to each other for sex. An idea was presented that an astronaut should squeeze a male and a female together into a small nylon-mesh bag, so that they come close to each other. There were of course, no ways to let the terrified mice perform mating even on the ground. About 20 years after the looping behavior of fish was reported, the first vertebrate mating was realized in the present fish experiment. The main reason for its success is that we have found a fish strain which does not loop in weightlessness (For details, see Chapter 5).
I have no informations on human sex in the shuttle or Mir, but the present fish mating is surely the first in space among all the vertebrate species, in the points of being video-recorded and reproductively fruitful, having babies born as its consequence (Fig.16).


[Chapter3]| 1.Eating in space
2.Mating behavior of Medaka fish
3.Sex in space: the 3rd day of the mission
4.Sex in space: the 5th day of the mission
5.Love and hatred among the four fish
6.Maternal love

[Contents][Chapter1][Chapter2][Chapter4][Chapter5][Chapter6]


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