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Space Bat

spacebat.pngThe space shuttle Discovery launched from Cape Canaveral on Sunday with a stowaway -a bat hanging on the outside of the external fuel tank! NASA had hoped the little guy would fly away before launch, but he held on, even after the engines roared, and held on at least as far as observers could follow.

"He did change the direction he was pointing from time to time throughout countdown but ultimately never flew away," states a NASA memo obtained by SPACE.com. "Infrared imagery shows he was alive and not frozen like many would think ... Liftoff imagery analysis confirmed that he held on until at least the vehicle cleared [the] tower before we lost sight of him."

Officials at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., where Discovery launched from a seaside pad, said the bat's outlook after launch appears grim.

"Based on images and video, a wildlife expert who provides support to the center said the small creature was a free tail bat that likely had a broken left wing and some problem with its right shoulder or wrist," NASA officials said Tuesday. "The animal likely perished quickly during Discovery's climb into orbit."

There were mournful reactions across the internet. Some speculated that the bat with the broken wing dreamed of flying again, and therefore achieved his wish. Others lauded the bat for flying further than any other bat. He will go down in bat history for his bravery and stubbornness. In any case, he left this world in grand style. It wasn't long before a tribute was produced.

(via Neatorama)

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6 Comments

...on that glorious day in March 2009, Space Bat went higher, farther, and faster than any other Bat.

said Jonniewalker on March 19, 2009 10:18 PM.

There was a demon that lived in the air. They said which ever Bat challenged him would die. Their ears would freeze up, their wings would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it the sound barrier.

said Jonniewalker on March 19, 2009 10:19 PM.

I'll admit it. I teared up a little when I read that he died. The story reads like a sadistic kid's book--you know, the ones that get you all attached to the animal and tell you the story of how he did something great and then, oh, yeah, by the way, he died. The end. Good night.

Doesn't NASA have a ladder? Or a broomstick?

said Jess on March 20, 2009 4:54 PM.

no, no broomsticks or ladders anymore at Nasa. Blame it on the economy

said PatZ on March 25, 2009 11:29 AM.

wow talk about a slow news day.

said dr. french on March 25, 2009 8:19 PM.

www.iamspacebat.com

I'm actually alive and on my way to Mars.

said spacebat on April 9, 2009 3:18 PM.
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