The Atlantic

Imagine Giving Birth in Space

A start-up wants a woman to deliver a child 250 miles above Earth. The first question: Why?
Source: Tim Clayton / Corbis / Getty

The moment has arrived at last. A woman in a hospital gown steels herself, ready to push. A nearby monitor displays her baby’s heart rate in big, neon numbers. A nurse in crisp scrubs coos in her ear, offering words of encouragement, advice. The scene would resemble any other delivery room if it weren’t for the view outside the window: the soft curvature of the blue Earth against the blackness of space, 250 miles below.

Delivering a child in microgravity may sound like science fiction. But for one start-up, it’s the future.

SpaceLife Origin, based in the Netherlands, a pregnant woman, accompanied by a “trained, world-class medical team,” in a capsule to the space above Earth. The mission would last 24 to 36 hours. Once the woman delivered the child, the capsule would return to the ground. “A carefully prepared and monitored process will reduce

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