- Title: RUSSIA: Animal astronauts return to Earth
- Date: 22nd May 2013
- Summary: ORENBURG REGION, RUSSIA (RECENT) (RUSSIAN POOL) MOUSE ON DESK WOMAN TAKING GECKO OUT OF CONTAINER SCIENTIST TAKING MOUSE OUT OF CAPSULE GECKO BEING PUT IN BOX MAN HOLDING PLASTIC CONTAINER WITH ANIMALS INSIDE VARIOUS OF TESTS BEING PERFORMED ON ANIMALS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WORKING AROUND LANDING CAPSULE UPON SPACE LANDING
- Embargoed: 6th June 2013 13:00
- Location: Russian Federation
- Country: Russia
- Reuters ID: LVAC1B6PTCMWHWMBLZWWMI7O1KB4
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: A Russian space capsule containing mice, sand eels, geckos, gerbils, snails, fish and plants returned to Earth after a month-long mission in space.
The Bion-M craft performed a parachute-assisted landing on a field in the Orenberg region, 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) southeast of Moscow on Monday (May 20).
The capsule containing animals, attached to a Soyuz rocket, was blasted into space from Kazakhstan in April 19 with an aim of studying the effects of microgravity on animals' bodies.
The rocket spun at an orbital height of 575 kilometres (360 miles) above Earth, surpassing that of the International Space Station.
While scientists performed tests on those who made it back to Russia, about a half of 53 mice died in space, as did eight gerbils. All 15 geckos survived.
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