There's an out-of-control gecko sex satellite orbiting the Earth at 17,000mph

Don't panic, but Russian scientists have lost control of a satellite full of geckos having sex.

Foton-M4 was launched on July 19 with the stated aim of observing the mating activities of a range of species, including plants and insects, in zero-gravity conditions.

But the satellite has stopped responding to mission control's commands, meaning a satellite full of horny geckos is currently hurtling around the Earth at 17,000mph.

Ironically, according to the excellently-named Russian Institute of Biomedical Problems, the scientific instruments are still functioning as expected, which basically means researchers have been able to observe the geckos having sex, oblivious to their predicament.

If Russian space firm Progress cannot regain control of the satellite, the geckos (four females and one male) will likely starve to death before the satellite eventually crashes into the Earth anyway.