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Elon Musk's spacecraft sent up to space with human sperm

Elon Musk's Falcon 9 spaceship has been launched into space carrying human sperm.

The new experiment by NASA plans to test how well human and bull sperm functions in space after previous tests of sea urchin semen showed the microgravity allowed it to activate more quickly, the Evening Standard reported.

NASA scientists - who are studying the possibility of humans living on Mars in the future - believe it will be a step towards understand the viability of reproduction in reduced gravity.

Once the sperm reaches the International Space Station this week they will be defrosted by astronauts and mixed with a chemical mixture that activates the cells.

NASA said in a statement: "We still don't know how long-duration space missions affect human reproductive health, and whether infertility may be a risk for future astronauts.

"In addition, a successful base on the Moon or Mars may require self-perpetuating colonies of animals and plants."

In the rocket - which was launched from Florida on Monday (02.04.18) - also sent a machine used to spin test tubes of blood and more equipment for tests related to measuring astronaut's health.

The Dragon craft will remain in space for 30 days before returning back to Earth with more cargo.

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