Sunday, 27 July 2014

Russia Loses Contact With Satellite Containing Gecko Experiment

July 26, 2014

Image Credit:

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online

Russian space officials said that they have lost contact with a satellite containing geckos participating in an experiment to see what impact microgravity will have on their biology and their sexual behaviors.

According to Jonathan O’Callaghan of the Daily Mail, a total of five lizards (four males and one female) were sent into space on a Photon-M satellite on July 19. Now, less than a week later, ground control has confirmed that the probe is no longer responding to commands, jeopardizing the mission.

“The two-month mission was planned to monitor by video how well the geckos sexually reproduce in space before returning them safely to Earth,” O’Callaghan said. “Following the launch, the satellite was failing to respond to commands to start its engine and move to a higher orbit… [but] the rest of its systems are operating nominally.”

“The equipment which is working in automatic mode, and in particular the experiment with the geckos is working according to the program,” added Oleg Voloshin, a spokesperson with the Russia’s Institute of Medico-Biological Problems, which is in charge of the experiment.

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