“Remembering the voluntary and accidental endeavours of animals in human spaceflight” — BrianTheBat.org
Just in case you haven’t heard, one little free-tailed bat from Florida caused quite a stir this week. Brian the Bat, who hitched a ride with Space Shuttle Discovery, captured the hearts and minds of the Twitter and blogging community, eventually spilling into the international stage. Although it was widely reported that “a bat” had been involved in the STS-119 launch, it seemed that the world reacted even more strongly to the fact I had personalized him by naming the little fella.
First, a major Norwegian publication referred to “Brian the Bat” (in wonderful articles written by Geir Barstein), followed swiftly by the UK’s Sun (reported by the excellent Paul Sutherland) and the Daily Mail.
So what was leant from the sad loss of Brian? The world has an appreciation/concern for the endeavours of animals in spaceflight. Therefore, today I have launched the Brian Bat Foundation (BrianTheBat.org), a section of Astroengine.com set up to keep track and celebrate the endeavours of animals in space flight. I have covered articles about mosquitoes, monkeys, dogs, spiders, butterflies and even tardigrades involved in space experiments, but there should also be an awareness that other animals are impacted by our spaceflight activities too. I hope The Brian Bat Foundation will do this, reporting on the funny, interesting and often tragic world of animals in space…
Know of a worthy space animal that needs a mention? Leave your suggestions in the comment box below and I’ll do some research, hopefully ending up with an article about the space pioneer.