Science & Environment

Russia back in control of Foton gecko sex satellite

gecko Image copyright Thinkstock

Fears have receded over the fate of a Russian space satellite carrying gecko lizards as part of a sex experiment, after technicians restored control.

Russia's space agency re-established the link on Saturday and has since held 17 communication sessions, an update on its website says (in Russian).

The Foton-M4 satellite's engine had stopped responding on Thursday.

Five geckos are aboard for a study into the effect of weightlessness on their sex lives and development.

The six-tonne satellite was launched on 19 July and is set to carry out experiments over two months.

Mushrooms, plant seeds and Drosophila fruit flies are also being monitored, while a special vacuum furnace is being used to examine the melting and solidification of metal alloys in low-gravity conditions.

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