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Russians Successfully Breed Cockroaches in Space

Russian scientists are popping the champagne corks after a cockroach called Hope conceived in space.

They say it is the first time any creature has give birth after cavorting in space.

Scientists in Vorenezh, central Russia, are now studying Hope's 33 babies to find out how being conceived in zero gravity has affected their development.

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Head Scientist Dmitry Atyakshin said "The first generation of cosmic cockroaches consists of 33 babies.

"They are beautiful. Seeing how they eat, drink and move I can understand that they are feeling very well."

Hope, the cockroach, conceived onboard the Foton-M satellite last month.

Although the tests have only just begun, researchers are already reporting changes in the insects.

They say that despite their stamina, weightlessness has exerted a serious influence on them, especially on their motor functions.

Hope was not alone in space - mice, butterflies, lizards and snails were also onboard the spacecraft.

They were all placed in air-tight capsules equipped with life support systems.

They were filmed throughout the 12-day experiment.

The results of all of the tests will be published in six months.

The cockroach is one of the toughest insects on the planet.

It is capable of living for a month without food and can even survive on the glue from the back of postage stamp.