On March 15, 2009, during launch preparations for STS-119, a free-tailed bat, injured and frightened, latched on to the foam insulation of Space Shuttle Discovery’s external propellant tank. His wing was broken and thus his life would soon end. But in a moment of bravery and ambition, his little claws buried deep into his foamy vessel, he became master of his own fate. He would not succumb to starvation or predation. No, he would soar into bat legend. He would touch the stars. NASA observers had believed the bat would fly off once the shuttle started to launch, but he did not.
Saturday marks a solemn anniversary for the space community. On Jan. 28, 1986, seven astronauts were killed when the Challenger space shuttle exploded shortly after launch.
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