16 March 2013

A tribute to Spacebat

A bat that was clinging to space shuttle Discoverys external fuel tank during the countdown to launch the STS-119 mission remained with the spacecraft as it cleared the tower, analysts at NASAs Kennedy Space Center concluded.

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. The animal likely perished quickly during Discoverys climb into orbit...

Launch controllers spotted the bat after it had clawed onto the foam of the external tank as Discovery stood at Launch Pad 39A. The temperature never dropped below 60 degrees at that part of the tank, and infrared cameras showed that the bat was 70 degrees through launch.

The final inspection team that surveys the outside of the shuttle and tank for signs of ice buildup observed the small bat, hoping it would wake up and fly away before the shuttle engines ignited...

Sources: Spacebat Facebook Group, Spacebat Memorial www.space-bat.com, Gizmodo.
Text from the "About" at the link.

1 comment:

  1. I feel like a fool here, but I teared up a little. Maybe it was the bagpipes. Maybe it is my experience hand feeding an injured Hawaiian bat that could not be released. Or maybe it is because bats are such remarkable creatures. They really do deserve the same respect we give to dogs and elephants and all the other creatures.


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