67 years ago, the US sent fruit flies into space inside a V-2 rocket to see if they could survive the radiation. Thus began a long and storied history of bringing animals off planet to explore what happens when gravity disappears. One of the latest: a Russian satellite called Foton-M No. 4 that was launched into orbit last week containing fruit flies once again. But this time there were also five geckos, whose sex lives were going to be studied on camera — for science. That was until one of the engines controlling the satellite stopped responding to ground commands that were trying to raise the vessel into a higher orbit.