Added 1 new A* page:My brother tipped me off to the incident involving the bat clinging to the Space Shuttle Discovery during launch seven years ago; the bat glommed on to the external fuel tank during countdown and stayed there through launch:|
images by NASA
Analysis of its posture by a wildlife expert (Wikipedia calls them a "bat doctor" : o) revealed that the bat "likely had a broken left wing and some problem with its right shoulder or wrist." This may explain why it did not fly away, even in the turbulence of pre-launch and launch (plus, the position it chose on the fuel tank stayed a nice 70 degrees).
Analysts at the Kennedy Space Center concluded that the bat "remained with the spacecraft as it cleared the tower." It is believed that the bat must have lost its grip and burned up in the booster exhaust soon after it and the Shuttle flew out of camera range, but NO ONE REALLY KNOWS. : ooo
(Conspiracy theorists take note: NASA mentions that this was not the first bat to land on a Space Shuttle during countdown: a bat also landed on the external fuel tank during a countdown to launch for Columbia in 1998.)