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article imageRussia's space creatures back from month long space mission

By Matthew Hendricks     May 26, 2013 in Odd News
A Russian capsule carrying mice, lizards and other small animals returned to Earth on Sunday after spending a month in space for what scientists said was the longest experiment of its kind. Half the mice died while all of the gecko's survived.
According to, the capsule in which the animals traveled to space, orbited 575 kilometers (345 miles) above Earth. That's higher than the orbit of the International Space Station, which is currently at a maximum altitude of about 421 kilometers (262 miles).
The mice and other animals are to be flown back to Moscow to undergo a series of tests at Sychov's institute, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences. reports that on the same "space ark" there were also gerbils, fish and other creatures on board.
The Bion-M1 space capsule, the month long space home to the animals, had launched into space on April 19 atop a Russian-built Soyuz 2 rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
More than half of the 45 mice aboard the spacecraft died during the flight.
All eight Mongolian gerbils and many of the other critters also did not survive.
However, all of the 15 geckos did survive.
According to, the purpose of the mission was to study how space travel affects living creatures.
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