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By: Susie77 , 2:18 PM GMT on September 04, 2014

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Russia's Space Sex Geckos Found Dead After Landing


By Miriam Kramer, Staff Writer   |   September 02, 2014 01:45pm ET







Sdc-inbrief-logo












Russia's Foton M4 Satellite Landing



Russia's Foton M4 satellite landed back on Earth on Sept.
1, 2014 after a 1.5-month trip into space to study the mating habits of
geckos and other experiments. The geckos did not survive.












A group of geckos sent to space so that scientists could study the mating habits of lizards in weightlessness have died.

Scientist discovered that the small reptiles didn't survive their outer
space trek after the Russian satellite housing them landed back on
Earth this weekend. Researchers still aren't sure when or how the
intrepid space geckos died, according to a statement released by Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, on Monday (Sept. 1).

Although the five geckos didn't survive the trip, the Foton spacecraft
kept a group of flies alive for the duration of the 1.5-month space
journey.




gecko on hand


One of the geckos blasted into space onboard the Foton M4 satellite.
Credit: Roscosmos View full size image


"After extraction of biological objects from the lander to carry out
the initial evaluation, it was found that the fly Drosophila moved
spaceflight well, successfully developed and bred," according to a
translated version of the Roscosmos statement.



The Foton carrying the geckos — and other experiments — launched to
space on July 18. Shortly after the satellite made it to orbit,
officials found that the craft wasn't responding to commands
from the ground. Mission controllers re-established contact with the
animal-filled spacecraft a few days after losing touch with it.

The geckos got a lot of attention during their time in orbit. Comedian
John Oliver even launched a "#GoGetThoseGeckos" campaign on his show
"Last Week Tonight" to stage a rescue for the lizards. "Star Trek's" Sir
Patrick Stewart, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and other famous stars
lent their support to the mock campaign as well.

"Maybe, just maybe, if we could come together and accomplish one thing
as a civilization, we could then build on that progress," Oliver said
during a broadcast in July. "And I think rescuing these space sex geckos
might just be that thing. And that is why, I'm issuing a challenge to
humanity: Go get those geckos."

This wasn't the first experiment launched to study animal sex in space.
Scientists have sent frogs, mice and salamanders into orbit to learn
more about how they do the deed in weightlessness. In 1994, Japanese
killifish became the first vertebrates to reproduce in outer space.
http://www.space.com/27003-russia-space-ge ckos-dead.html?cmpid=558267

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Sometimes I complain about the earthly weather, but mostly I like to post about astronomy and space events. Hope you enjoy the articles.

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