View Full Version : Breasts in Space

compressor stall
14th Oct 2001, 07:02
From www.newscientist.com (http://www.newscientist.com)

I am endowed with a large bust and consequently always have to wear a bra for support. If I was flying in space in a zero-gravity environment, would I no longer require my undergarment? And, if not, what shape would my breasts assume? So many female astronauts have gone into space that I feel sure there is an answer.

Your correspondent would not need a bra in zero gravity. She can experience for herself the shape her breasts would assume by swimming braless. Breast tissue has an almost neutral buoyancy in water, and the shape of the breasts would be controlled by tissue elasticity and blood pressure. If she was occupied with something diverting while in space, which one hopes she would be, she would probably be unaware of her breasts. But whenever she pushed herself off the walls of the spacecraft to move about, the breasts would wobble and brush against clothing. Because light friction can be more distracting than firm contact, she might find a bra desirable in such a situation. Of course, during blast-off and re-entry, gravity would certainly play a part . . .

Michael Bell, Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Your correspondent's breasts would not weigh anything in space but they would still have mass and momentum. It would feel similar to swimming in water without a costume.

If they are large breasts, then this could prove to be disconcerting both for you and your fellow astronauts.

The problem was considered in the 1973 science fiction novel written by Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama, in which he wrote: "Some women, Commander Norton had decided long ago, should not be allowed aboard ship; weightlessness did things to their breasts that were too damn distracting. It was bad enough when they were motionless; but when they started to move, and sympathetic vibrations set in, it was more than any warm-blooded male should be asked to take. He was quite sure that at least one serious space accident had been caused by acute crew distraction, after the transit of a well-upholstered lady officer through the control cabin."

David Gibson , Leeds, West Yorkshire

henry crun
14th Oct 2001, 08:16
The lady quoted is probably genuine and would, no doubt, have some trouble in space.
She should take heart from the fact that undoubtably the male crew members would assist by holding the offending items in the correct position.

However, if this is an ongoing problem for lady astonauts, the answer is to employ the same method used by the large breasted film stars and pop singers that appear on our screens.

From what I have seen, the large majority of them have had this problem corrected by visiting a plastic surgeon.
It doesnt matter how much or how quickly they move or what position they adopt, the damn things stay firmly in place without so much as a tremor, let alone a jiggle or a wobble.

Just an other number
14th Oct 2001, 15:21
Which brings us to the next question, lightly touched on by Henry Crun when he spoke of the male crew members helping in the hold steady exercise – what happens to the male crew’s members?

14th Oct 2001, 18:55
All proposed space breasts need to be weighed by the Captain.

One in each hand and.... wahay!



14th Oct 2001, 19:17
For A-Level physics - many moons ago - we had to elect a topic for investigation which would be submitted and count towards the final grade. My first elected topic was the realtionship between breast size and resonant frequency. Although the physics master said this was the most interesting topic submitted to date, he could not gaurantee I wouldn't go to jail.

As I recall, however, I had no shortage of volunteers once word got out.

tony draper
14th Oct 2001, 21:00
Although weightless they would still be subject to inertia, a body at rest and all that jazz.
They would tend to want to remain behind as the owner of said glands moves on. ;)

Mac the Knife
15th Oct 2001, 00:08
On the question of mass vs. weight I can think of no better than:

"The trouble with nude dancing is that not everything stops when the music stops."

Robert Helpmann, regarding Broadway musical Oh Calcutta!, recalled upon his death (March 15, 1983)

Alpine Flyer
15th Oct 2001, 11:56
Robert A. Heinlein, who was less inhibited than (the truly great) Arthur C. Clarke when writing on "bodily matters" also wrote positively about the effect of the Moon's gravity on the female physique in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" (and possibly in other books as well).

Mac the Knife
16th Oct 2001, 00:03
"It would feel similar to swimming in water without a costume."

Actually it wouldn't - water is far more viscous than air and thus damps out much of the natural jiggle that is so interesting to observers.

Air @ 18C 0.018 2 cP
Water @ 20C 1.002 cP

Just to give you a feeling for it, here are some others

Glycol @ 20C 19.9 cP
Soya bean oil @ 20C 69.3 cP
Olive oil @ 20C 84.0 cP
Light machine oil @ 20C 102 cP
Air @ 229C 0.026 38 cP
Heavy machine oil @ 20C 233 cP
Neon @ 20C 0.031 11 cP
Glycerin @ 20C 1,490 cP
Pancake syrup @ 20C 2,500 cP
Water @ 99C 0.2848 cP
Honey @ 20C 10,000 cP
Chocolate syrup @ 20C 25,000 cP
Ketchup @ 20C 50,000 cP
Peanut butter @ 20C 250,000 cP
Tar or pitch @ 20C 30,000,000,000 cP
Ethyl alcohol @ 20C 1.2 cP
Soda Glass @ 575C 1,000,000,000,000,000 cP
Mercury @ 20C 1.554 cP

There is a good page about viscosity at http://xtronics.com/reference/viscosity.htm with a nice picture of 'ol Poiseuille himself.

At a guess the silicone fluid in breast prostheses has a viscosity of around 200 cP which is why these feel much more natural than those filled with water (which tend to slosh).

[URL to nice picture of boobs deleted by PPRuNe Admin.]

16th Oct 2001, 00:21
Seven of Nine doesn't seem to have a problem ;)