Part of a study on reproduction in weightlessness, the Russian Foton M-4 satellite safely returned to Earth on Monday. However, it’s not all good news for five of its crew members who were found dead (according to Interfax, they were mummified).
All five members were geckos sent on Russia’s infamous ‘gecko sex satellite’ as part of an experiment to monitor sex in zero-G conditions. The lusty lizards were expected to do the deed whilst being observed by scientists back on Earth.
A momentary glitch in their comms system led to these reptilian cosmonauts being ‘lost in space’ along with their flight mates, which included fruitflies. Once control was regained, the satellite safely landed back on earth earlier than scheduled.
Although the satellite lost all 5 of its gecko subjects, their team members – the fruitflies – managed to not only survive, but also successfully breed on board.