Bat Clung to Space Shuttle
One casualty of the STS-119 space shuttle mission: a tiny bat. Normally, sirens and general movement around the launch pad serve to scare off any bats or birds who land on the shuttle or its rocket, but one bat was not so lucky: it had a broken wrist, and could not flee in time to escape a sudden jump beyond the atmosphere.
The little guy would have died before breaching atmosphere as it hurtled towards the edge of gravity's reach, and so cannot truly be called the first bat in space, though events such as this are but stepping stones toward a future of spacebats.
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 Discovery’s climb into orbit.
Goodbye and godspeed, my magnificent Spacebat.
Most Recommended Comment
Nottingham, United Kingdom