This reads like the next hit Hollywood origin story we never knew we always wanted. "Planet of the Geckos," anyone?
A Russian satellite containing five geckos was launched into orbit last week, so scientists could study how microgravity affects their reproduction habits and egg survival – astronaut Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson-style.
Everything was going swimmingly, Marvin Gaye was pumping into the satellite's speaker system (we presume), the geckos were gettin' in on, until one of the main engines stopped responding to ground control's commands. Maybe the little guys just wanted some privacy? You know what they say: when the satellite's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin'! (Sorry, not sorry.)
At this point, life support systems are still working and the geckos have about two and a half months' worth of food, but they may run out before the satellite falls out of orbit on its own – unless the Russians can revive the faulty engine.
We're going to presume it's only a matter of time before the satellite flies, rudderless and tumbling through zero gravity, into the atmosphere of some far-off planet perfectly poised to sustain reptile life, thus setting forth a cataclysmic chain of events that will bring rise to our new alien lizard overlords. Somewhere, the Geico spokeslizard is rubbing his claws together, muttering, "I've lain in wait long enough – the end is nigh!" Horrifying.