Do Women Make Better Astronauts? Their Bodies May Be Better Suited To Space Travel

IN SPACE - DECEMBER 1: In this handout from NASA, the mosaic image, one of the largest ever taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of the Crab Nebula, shows six-light-year-wide expanding remnant of a star's supernova explosion as released December 2, 2005. Japanese and Chinese astronomers witnessed this violent event nearly 1,000 years ago in 1054, together with, possibly, Native Americans. The orange filaments are the remains of the star and consist mostly of hydrogen. The rapidly spinning neutron star embedded in the center of the nebula is the dynamo powering the nebula's eerie interior bluish glow. The blue light comes from electrons whirling at nearly the speed of light around magnetic field lines from the neutron star. The neutron star, the crushed ultra-dense core of the exploded star, ejects twin beams of radiation that appear to pulse 30 times a second due to the neutron star's rotation. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)
Source: Handout/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you're ever dreamt of traversing the moon, today might be your lucky day: females may be better suited for space travel than men, for both physiological and emotional reasons. Australia Science Channel RiAus TV has released a video on YouTube outlining the many reasons women's bodies and mentalities combine to create a more apt space traveler. Research has suggested that women tend to have stronger hearts than their male counterparts, which makes their bodies more ideal for this very unique environment, and perhaps less susceptible to stress or failure during long-term missions such as those conducted on spacecrafts. 

RiAus TV also draws attention to the fact that in multiple studies, women demonstrated a higher tolerance for isolation and sensory deprivation. The explanation doesn't cease there, though, as the female tendency to bond with a group, creating a more "cohesive" unit, was also illuminated as a potentially beneficial factor; after all, when you're stuck on a ship with the same people for years at a time, you're going to need to bond. Perhaps most convincing, though, is the economic argument: as women burn less than half the calories than men doing the same small duties that matter most in this context, they require less resources (food, fuel) to accomplish them, which translates to less cold hard cash spent per flight. As it happens, however, of the more than 500 people who have been to space, only 54 have been women.

To take a look at the argument further, here's that video.


The idea that a woman might be better suited for a traditionally male-dominated job isn't new. It's this kind of aggregation of cold, hard science that continues to beg the question even further: why aren't we doing what makes sense?

Images: Getty (1); RiAus TV/YouTube (1)

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