Geckos Sent Into Space to Have Sex Now in Danger

Communications compromised with Russian satellite
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2014 10:28 AM CDT
Geckos Sent Into Space to Have Sex Now in Danger
Contact has been lost with a satellite in space that's housing five geckos being studied for their reproductive habits.   (Shutterstock)

Five lust-filled lizards hurled into the heavens to get lucky in the name of science are now in peril. The Russian space agency Roscosmos is trying to fix faulty communications with its Foton-M4 satellite, which was launched last week with one male gecko and four females on board, reports Ars Technica. Part of the craft’s mission: to let the lizards get it on in zero-gravity conditions while scientists back on Earth watch via video to study how weightlessness affects their reproductive habits.

Officials from the agency’s mission control tell Russian news agency Itar-Tass that although they’re still receiving data from the satellite—an experiment run by Russia's Institute of Medico-Biological Problems, notes—they can’t transmit commands to the research satellite. And if full communications can’t be restored, the satellite won’t be able to return to Earth and the lizards will run out of food within two months. Good luck to the geckos—and to the fruit flies and mushrooms that are also aboard and getting almost zero press in this whole mess. Or maybe their non-response is simply their equivalent of a “Do Not Disturb” sign? (Future space travelers looking for a rendezvous spot might consider moon caves.)

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