The prospect of a real-life sci-fi story featuring mutated geckos in space attacking the earth moved one step closer, as Russia admitted that it had lost contact with a satellite.
The Foton-M4 spacecraft, filled with geckos, was launched on July 19, but has apparently stopped responding to commands from Roscosmos, Russia's Federal Space Agency. Five geckos, four female and one male, were put in the satellite to study the effects of weightlessness on the sex lives of the creatures.
A spokesperson for mission control was quoted by news agency ITAR-Tass as saying that "[now] there is only one-way communication" after it had previously completed several orbits of the earth successfully.
Animals have previously been taken into space with Albert II becoming the first monkey in space in 1949. Mice and dogs soon followed, with all kinds of organisms enjoying a spaceflight since then.
The geckos are believed to have two and a half months' worth of food remaining, assuming that the craft's life-support systems are still functioning. If the geckos can seize their chance of freedom, find a new food source, breed, mutate, become sentient beings and gain superpowers, then the Earth could be under threat before we know it. It's surely just a matter of time.