The geckos were sent aboard Russian satellite Foton M-4 to study effects of zero gravity on reproductive systems.
According to officials at the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems, the geckos – four females and one male died a week before the landing.
Apparently the satellite’s other randy cargo, the fruit flies were still alive and bred like crazy in space.
As the Foton satellite was not equipped to transmit live feeds back, Russian scientists will have to pick apart the 44 days of footage to know when exactly and why the geckos met their death.
Other than the fruit flies the entire experiment was a disaster. The Foton-M4 satellite was launched on 19 July, 2014 from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan. Though slated for two months, the capsule was recalled after 44 days following problems that began a few days after the launch.