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Shuttle Comes With a Stowaway

| 18 Mar 2009 16:15
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The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral this past Sunday with an unexpected extra passenger tagging along.

The stowaway, a bat, wasn't decked out in a tiny little space suit, but rather clinging like mad to the foam on the external tank. The final inspection team spotted it before liftoff but hoped that it would detach before the shuttle's engines ignited.

For reasons known only to the bat, it hung on; and really hung on as the the shuttle accelerated from 0 to 100mph(161kph) in just 10 seconds.

As the shuttle cleared the launch tower, there was still a bat-shaped speck visible on the side of its fuel tank.

Did it survive? Well, there's more chance than you might think. The side of the tank is insulated to keep it at around 60 degrees while in the atmosphere, and as long as the G force was enough to knock out a human, it might be enough to detach its claws.

Say it with me, now: Baaaaaats iiiiin spaaaaaaaaaace!

Source: ABC News via Slashdot
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