Russia on 19 April 2013 launched the bio-satellite (BION-M) called orbital Noah's Ark into space with various living organisms such as 45 mice, 15 geckos, micro-organisms, plants, snails and eight Mongolian gerbils. These living organisms were included in the flight in order to comprehend the effects of such long flights on the living organisms.
The latest bio-satellite blasted off aboard Soyuz 2 rocket from Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan. The bio-satellite is on the 30-day mission. During its 30-day mission, the bio-satellite will participate in over 70 genetic, biological and physiological experiments, which in turn, will help in preparation for the flights to Mars as well as other planets.
The results of this satellite will be studied on 18 May 2013 when this satellite will return back to Earth. Among various experiments on the list, one of it includes studying the extra-terrestrial origin theory on Earth.
On the outer skin of this satellite, there is an attachment of meteorite-type heat-resistant material that has tiny holes which carry various fungi and bacteria. These microbes will face exposure to freezing temperatures, re-entry heat as well as space vacuum. This is done in order to see whether these microbes can survive their travel through the space.
It is worth noticing that Russia resumed the launches of biological satellites after almost 15 years. This BION-M satellite comprises of state-of-the-art sophisticated life-supporting systems along with huge fuel tanks and powerful solar cell panels, which will enable it to fly for up to 3 months.