Russian mission control has lost contact with a satellite full of geckos slated to participate in a weightlessness experiment, in the latest setback for the country's space industry.
The Photon-M satellite and its reptile crew will probably be lost and fall from orbit in a few months unless specialists can re-establish communications with it, a source in the space industry told Interfax news agency. The four female and one male gecko on board will die from hunger within two and a half months or earlier if the craft's life-support systems are also disrupted, the source said.
SpaceX has been launching rockets in Florida or California for quite some time, but Texas will likely see most of the action once the company finishes building its new spaceport in Cameron County. While SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hasn't made an official announcement yet, a Florida official (who's understandably disappointed by the development) confirmed that the Lone Star State has indeed landed the contract. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration already gave SpaceX its blessing to do 12 launches per year (mostly of its Falcon 9 and upcoming Falcon Heavy rockets) from the 56.5 acre site.