The Batronaut, a free-tailed bat whose age was unknown, passed away on Sunday, March 15 near his perch on the north side of the Space Shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The cause of death is believed to be the 1400°C exhaust of the shuttle’s rocket boosters.
The Batronaut is believed to have been a resident of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and enjoyed sleeping upside down and eating bugs.
The Batronaut will be fondly remembered by America as the bat that almost made it into space. An account of his final hours, “Interim Problem Report 119V-0080,” has been written by NASA’s Systems Engineering and Integration team.
In lieu of flowers, please build a bat house.