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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On November 6th, 2015 UP Aerospace Inc. launched the 20-foot (6 meter) tall SL-10 rocket into near-space. The mission: deploy the Maraia Capsule testing the aerodynamics and stability of the payload on re-entry to the atmosphere. The rocket reached an altitude of 396,000ft (120,700 meters) and speeds up to Mach 5.5 (3800mph or 6115km/h) at engine burnout.
On Jan. 28, 1986, at 11:39 a.m., people across the country watched in horror as the space shuttle Challenger exploded over the Atlantic Ocean, killing everyone on board. It remains one of the worst accidents of the American space program.
Hardly more than a minute after liftoff and about 10 miles above Earth, the space shuttle Challenger erupted into a ball of flame. The Times reported that the “orange fireball and billowing white trails” initially confused many onlookers, who did not realize that something had gone terribly wrong. “Obviously a major malfunction,” said Stephen A. Nesbitt of Mission Control, according to a transcript of the shuttle’s final moments. “We have no downlink.” And then, after a long pause: “We have a report from the flight dynamics officer that the vehicle has exploded.”