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Did NASA really tell astronauts not to masturbate in space?

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The New York Post recently ran an article with the headline “Astronauts should not masturbate in zero gravity, NASA scientist says.” The article quickly went viral, leading people to wonder whether the federal space agency actually had problems with astronauts self pleasuring out in the void.The only problem?

The Post‘s article was based on a misunderstanding.The Post’s original article cited Smythe Mulikan, a mechanical engineer who works with a NASA contractor in Houston, Texas.

Mulikan was interviewed by comedian Conan O’Brien on a recent episode of O’Brien’s podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.According to the Post, Mulikan allegedly said that NASA would never send skin mags or adult videos to the International Space Station (ISS) over fears that “female astronauts could get impregnated by stray fluids.”“Three female astronauts can be impregnated by the same man on the same session … it finds its way,” Mulikan was quoted by the Post as saying.However, a closer look by the fact-checkers at Snopes revealed that the Post misattributed the quote to Mulikan when, in fact, the comment came from O’Brien’s comedic co-host Matt Gourley.In the episode, O’Brien asked Mulikan about the strangest items that NASA had ever sent to the ISS.

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