The Associated Press (as carried by the Washington Post) reports that a living payload of newts and mice has been retrieved after a month orbiting earth in a Russian space capsule
at an altitude of 345 miles, far higher than the ISS's orbital distance of 205 miles.
Says the story: "Fewer than half of the 53 mice and other rodents who blasted off on April 19 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome survived the flight, Russian news agencies reported, quoting Vladimir Sychov, deputy director of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems and the lead researcher. Sychov said this was to be expected and the surviving mice were sufficient to complete the study, which was designed to show the effects of weightlessness and other factors of space flight on cell structure. All 15 of the lizards survived, he said. The capsule also carried small crayfish and fish."