A small bat was spotted clinging to the back side of Discovery's external fuel tank, blasting off with the space shuttle. Infrared imagery proves that this bat had not been frozen to death on the shuttle's exterior, but rather he was totally alive and clinging to the rough metal surface. NASA hoped the bat would fly away before the spacecraft's Sunday evening liftoff, but Space Bat didn't let go of his life's goal. According to NASA, Space Bat managed to hang on throughout the launch!
The countdown boomed on the powerful NASA speakers, Space Bat did not flee. The jets exploded to life, and Space Bat's determination overcame his fears. And as the magnitude of the rockets' blast off shrouded Space Bat with smoke, he clung until his end, and he went into oblivion with pride.
We will remember Space Bat's act of determination and courage, and learn from his outstanding adventure to become the first bat in space.
Space Bat is a true American hero and will live on in the hearts of us all.
Rest in peace.
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