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David Hines [userpic]

a true American hero

March 22nd, 2009 (12:15 pm)
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How is it that I only now learned of the great courage and nobility of Space Bat?

The FOX News article is terrific, and is packed with historic details:

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."

This isn't the first time a bat has attempted to travel into space. Another bat was seen clinging to the side of the external tank attached to the shuttle Endeavour on its STS-72 flight in 1996. That one maybe have been a bit more cautious, though: It flew away to safety right before launch.

Coincidentally, an astronaut aboard that flight, Koichi Wakata of Japan, also flew on Discovery this week, making him the first spaceflyer to share two rides with bats.

Comments

Posted by: Sara LaKali (sara_lakali)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)

I don't understand why NASA didn't just remove the bat when they found it.

In any case, fly on, Space Bat. You will live on in our collective memory, inspiring countless generations to come.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: March 26th, 2009 12:10 am (UTC)
rex the wonder dog on skis

They were probably busy enough, alas.

SPACE BAT LIVES.

Posted by: Betty (brown_betty)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)

I swear I saw someone write an “Ode to Spacebat,” but if it wasn't you, who was it?

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: March 26th, 2009 12:12 am (UTC)

Somebody in a comments section of a spacebat post at another site. It was a haiku.

Posted by: PROBE UNIVERSE (liviapenn)
Posted at: March 23rd, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)


Coincidentally, an astronaut aboard that flight, Koichi Wakata of Japan, also flew on Discovery this week, making him the first spaceflyer to share two rides with bats.

And as he was propelled into space, the bats flew through the stratosphere with him, for, though he did not know it, Koichi Wakata was a Bat God. All he knew was that his space flights were plagued with tiny flying mammals. All the bats knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to do batty things to him.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: March 26th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
solace

"It's an omen! I must become a creature of the night... a BATSTRONAUT!"

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