Animal Cosmonauts Return to Earth

By: RTV/CBS
By: RTV/CBS

A Russian space capsule containing mice, sand eels, geckos, gerbils, snails, fish and plants returned to Earth after a month-long mission in space.

In a photo provided by NASA the Soyuz TMA-04M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 carrying Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka, NASA Flight Engineer Joseph Acaba and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/NASA, Bill Ingalls)

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, 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 360 miles above Earth, surpassing that of the International Space Station.

While scientists performed tests on those who made it back.


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