From a reader:
Could you hypothetically foresee Rome allowing Masses to
be celebrated extra-terrestrially? While it might seem more possible on the Moon or a planet, what about zero-gravity where things can’t be poured and other difficulties would arise?
We apply the analogy of Masses said aboard ships.
Initially, only bishops and cardinals were permitted to offer Mass on ships or other moving vehicles. The fear of the ship tilting and rocking, and the danger of spilling the sacred species, or other vagaries of motion, prevented widespread application of this which, in those times when an Atlantic crossing would take weeks, meant that sailors were deprived of Holy Mass, often for a considerable period of time.
In the 20th century, this permission was gradually extended, on a case by case basis, to certain chaplains, making sure that they were aware of the dangers and would take steps to prevent them – by waiting until the seas were relatively calm for Mass, etc.
In space, we have to worry about fluids wandering around. Thus, the “chalice” would have to be enclosed, a tiny amount of water could be injected at the right moment, and so forth. I don’t think there is any problem with Hosts. They can be consecrated even if the ciborum or pyx is not open. Care will have to be taken to avoid fragments floating away. Hosts would have to have well sealed edges. Perhaps even with some neutral coating approved by the Holy See?
I suspect that Mass in space won’t happen until large numbers of people are aboard some crafts. By then space-going vessels will have some sort of gravity generated in the habitable portions.
And if there are abuses, Father can go out the airlock!