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Space shuttle Discovery blasts off with bat stowaway
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Space shuttle Discovery blasts off with bat stowaway - March 18, 2009, 09:57 AM



KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida (CNN)
-- A bat that apparently had trouble flying instead tried to hitch a ride on the space shuttle Discovery, NASA officials said. The free tail bat was last seen clinging to the space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank just before launch.

The animal was last seen clinging on the foam of the external tank of the space shuttle moments before the Discovery launched, officials said.
NASA officials had hoped the bat would fly away on its own, but admitted the bat probably died quickly during Discovery's climb into orbit.
Discovery's seven-member crew, which lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, is on a 14-day mission to deliver supplies needed to expand the International Space Station.
NASA officials noticed the bat before shuttle's liftoff and brought in a wildlife expert to look at video images of it. The expert said it appeared to be a free-tailed bat that probably had a broken left wing and an injured right shoulder or wrist.
The launch pads at the space center are near the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, so NASA has sirens to scare away animals that get near the shuttles.
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The bat isn't the first to try hitching a ride into space. NASA officials said they noticed one of the creatures on a tank of a shuttle in 1998. That bat flew away as the shuttle's massive engines ignited.
The crew of the Discovery safely docked at the International Space Station on Tuesday. It was unclear whether its stowaway was still clinging to the shuttle.


POOR LITTLE GUY. He tried to be the first bat into space RIP!
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March 18, 2009, 10:02 AM

NASA = BAT KILLERS


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March 18, 2009, 10:03 AM

damn, thats one crazy ass bat


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March 18, 2009, 10:04 AM

Bat shit crazy I tell ya..


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March 18, 2009, 10:08 AM

PETA will probably picket NASA now.


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March 18, 2009, 10:11 AM

Batman is displeased....



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March 18, 2009, 10:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemsonJeeper View Post
PETA will probably picket NASA now.
I'm going to stand right next to them attaching bats to big bottle rockets and sending them on their way.


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March 18, 2009, 10:26 AM

damn that bat had a helluva grip

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March 18, 2009, 10:28 AM

Quote:
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I'm going to stand right next to them attaching bats to big bottle rockets and sending them on their way.
Let me know I'll do it with you

sucks for the bat.


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March 18, 2009, 10:34 AM

Quote:
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Bat shit crazy I tell ya..

you're the expert there, thats for sure


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March 18, 2009, 10:42 AM

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you're the expert there, thats for sure
<awkward laughter>


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