Bat Hitched Short Ride on Shuttle

Stowaway clung to Discovery's fuel tank through blastoff
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2009 3:56 AM CDT
A fruit bat is seen clinging to one of the fuel tanks of the space shuttle Discovery.   (NASA)
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(Newser) – A small bat clung to the space shuttle Discovery's fuel tank throughout its launch Sunday, reports. Observation teams had hoped it would fly away before liftoff, but images reveal it stayed with the shuttle as it blasted off from Kennedy Space Center. NASA officials, who judged the bat was no threat to the shuttle's heat tiling, believe the stowaway must have perished shortly after blastoff.