Gecko Sex Satellite Loses Control with Russia's Mission Control
July 28, 2014
Update July 29: The Russians have regained control of the satellite and says that 90 percent of the experiments should be fine. The geckos continue to mate.
A Russian satellite that was launched into orbit last week won’t respond to commands from Russia’s mission control. Why is this important to reptile lovers, and gecko lovers in particular? Well, the satellite features four female geckos and one male gecko as part of the payload, and Russian biologists are hoping to get more information of the sex lives of geckos in space. While the satellite quit responding to commands, it is still sending data back to mission control, and apparently, the geckos are getting busy.
"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.
According to Aljazeera America, the scientists have been able to watch the lizards mating via video, and are hoping that the animals will be fine after the 60 days in space.
On the flip side, British comedian John Oliver has issued a call to Vladimir Putin via #GoGetThoseGeckos imploring Russia's president for life to go get those geckos. He has asked a variety of celebrities, from Patrick Stewart, to Julia Louise Dreyfuss to Richard Branson, to demand Putin to Go Get Those Geckos!
Hopefully the impact of weightlessness on lizard sex will bare fruit for the scientists.
John B. Virata keeps a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata