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Dublin: 21°C Tuesday 15 June 2021

Sex geckos freeze to death after being sent to space by Russia

Their fruit fly companions survived, however, and successfully did the dirty up in space.

Image: geckos image via Shutterstock

FIVE GECKOS SENT into orbit to test the effect of weightlessness on the small lizards’ sex lives have all died, the Russian space agency said today.

The Foton-M4 satellite on which the ‘sex geckos’, as they have been affectionately referred to, spent the past month and a half returned to earth as planned today and the various species travelling aboard were removed.

“Unfortunately all the geckos died,” said the Roskosmos space agency in a brief statement.

Interfax news agency later quoted an expert that worked on the mission as saying “that according to preliminary data it is becoming clear that the geckos froze” after their heating system failed.

The fruit flies that were also travelling on the satellite, however, survived and had reproduced, Roskosmos said.

Roskosmos briefly lost control over the satellite following its launch, but was eventually able to restore contact and put the satellite in the proper orbit.

- © AFP 2014 with additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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