GREEN

Sex Geckos Circle The Earth In Out-Of-Control Russian Satellite

07/25/2014 01:08 am ET | Updated Jul 25, 2014

Next time you look up at the sky and spot a passing satellite, consider this: It just might be an out-of-control Russian spacecraft loaded with sexually-active geckos.

The lusty lizards are among the 22 experiments, including fruit flies and mushrooms, sent into space aboard the Foton-M4 satellite on July 18. On Thursday, Russia's mission control said the craft will not respond to its commands.

That means the geckos -- and everything else aboard the craft -- could be doomed.

In the meantime, the space agency says it's able to receive data from the satellite, and so far the four females and one male have been busy with their "work."

"The equipment which is working in automatic mode, and in particular the experiment with the geckos is working according to the program," Oleg Voloshin, a spokesman of Russia's Institute of Medico-Biological Problems, told Agence France-Presse.

Scientists have even been able to watch videos of the geckos doing it lizard-style in space, according to Al Jazeera. However, they're hoping to recover all of the creatures alive at the end of the 60-day experiment to gather more data.

If mission control can't restore communications, the geckos will run out of food, then the satellite will come crashing to Earth a few months later, according to Ars Technica.

It wouldn't be the first critter catastrophe for the Russian space program. Last year, the Bion-M satellite loaded with gerbils, mice and fish crashed shortly after launch, killing most of the creatures aboard, The Moscow Times reports.

Also on HuffPost:

World's Most Extreme Animals
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS