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TV comedian John Oliver with a space gecko mascot

Russian ‘sex gecko’ space mission ends in failure

An interstellar love story goes horribly wrong as the reptiles on the zero-gravity research programme freeze to death

It was intended to be a voyage of love and discovery, an interstellar mission with one goal – sex. Russia sent a team of five "sex geckos" into space on 19 July in a bid to analyze the effect of zero-gravity conditions on the ability to reproduce. The satellite launched from Kazakhstan with a team of "sex flies" also on board, but immediately ran into complications when mission control lost all communications with the pod shortly after take off.

A week later, contact was restored and the mission proceeded as planned. But yesterday the satellite crash landed in the city of Orenburg, only 44 days after orbit. Undeterred, Russian space scientists excitedly approached the pod, hoping to find a throng of healthy, lusty geckos, but unfortunately things hadn't gone according to plan.

"All the geckos, unfortunately, died," said a statement from the Russian Federal Space Agency, confirming that the worst orgy in history had taken place. Pleasingly, the team of flies successfully had sex and managed to reproduce – a modern love story if we ever heard one.

Tests will now be conducted to determine the time and cause of death of the geckos, but according to the Guardian it appears that the animals froze, possibly as a result of faulty equipment.

Lesson learned: flies can fuck in space but geckos can't. This year, Russia increased its funding for space research by 1.8million roubles (about £29 million) in a bid to put themselves at the forefront of space research. Money well spent?

For more uplifting adult reading, check out our State Of Sex week for the States of Independence.

(h/t the Moscow Times)