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Old 03-20-2009, 12:11 AM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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Mar 20, 2009: Bat-ronaut

You may have seen this picture of a Mexican Free Tailed Bat, that hiched a ride on the Space Shuttle's last shot.
Quote:
In the hours before Discovery's liftoff, NASA's Final Inspection Team (called the "ICE team") investigated whether the creature would pose a risk to the shuttle if its body impacted the orbiter's sensitive heat shield tiling. Ultimately, NASA officials signed a waiver confirming that the bat was safe to fly with.

"The bat eventually became 'Interim Problem Report 119V-0080' after the ICE team finished their walkdown," the memo said. "Systems Engineering and Integration performed a debris analysis on him and ultimately a Launch Commit Criteria waiver to ICE-01 was written to accept the stowaway."


It seems the bat was hurt, and probably couldn't, or was afraid to, leave it's perch.
Quote:
"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."

Because the Kennedy Space Center is also home to Florida's Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, NASA's launch pads are equipped with several countermeasures, including warning sirens, to ward off birds and other wildlife. NASA also relies on radar to make sure large flocks of birds won't be struck by the shuttle during liftoff.
Gizmodo wrote;
Quote:
Bereft of his ability to fly and with nowhere to go, a courageous bat climbed aboard our Discovery with stars in his weak little eyes. The launch commenced, and Spacebat trembled as his frail mammalian body was gently pushed skyward. For the last time, he felt the primal joy of flight; for the first, the indescribable feeling of ascending toward his dream—a place far away from piercing screeches and crowded caves, stretching forever into fathomless blackness.
Whether he was consumed in the exhaust flames or frozen solid in the stratosphere is of no concern. We know that Spacebat died, but his dream will live on in all of us.


But he may be back.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:16 AM   #2
Beestie
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Not yer lucky day, is it bat?
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:32 AM   #3
SPUCK
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He went like a bat into Hell.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:36 AM   #4
TheMercenary
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I still say he is up there on the longest glide home and is going to show up in a few weeks at the bat cave with some awesome stories.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:12 AM   #5
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well, bruce, you've finally done it. I feel sorry for a bat.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:13 AM   #6
monster
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Pre-BBQd, no recipes required. poor bat
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:18 AM   #7
Shawnee123
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This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:28 AM   #8
capnhowdy
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Some bats will do anything for attention.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:47 AM   #9
sweetwater
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I think I would buy a Spacebat tee shirt if they existed. Which they will. Soon. I bet.
...and ahem
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:51 AM   #10
monster
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maybe we should adopt spacebat as cellar mascot? We surely have enough flaming and some batty behavior. and if what sheldon says about his rocket is true......

We could invite spacebat sponsors to hit the tip jar and receive a portion of his ashes in the mail with a certificate of authentication....
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:59 AM   #11
spudcon
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NASA probably stuck him there with pine tar.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:04 AM   #12
birdclaw
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Does anyone else find it odd that the Kennedy Space Center is located in a wildlife refuge? And do you think the siren are really going to scare anything off? I mean all the animals probably have hearing issues due to take offs anyway.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:13 AM   #13
Shawnee123
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Sirens scare people off all the time!
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:43 AM   #14
xoxoxoBruce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brianna View Post
well, bruce, you've finally done it. I feel sorry for a bat.
And an undocumented Mexican bat, to boot.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:13 AM   #15
monster
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