Bata The Bat-ronaut
By Jerry R. Eller
On March 19, 2009, a small free tailed bat got stuck on the external tank of the Space Shuttle orbiter Discovery. The bat got stuck during the preflight countdown of STS 119. Initial attempts to scare the bat away by noise systems were unsuccessful. NASA was forced to do a "debris analysis." The bat was assigned a debris analysis number: IPR 119V-0080. Infrared pictures were taken pinpointing exactly where the bat was. Launch scenarios were run. A mere 21/2 hours before launch an LCC waiver was accepted, signifying that scientists did not believe that the bat was a danger to the mission. During liftoff the bat never came off of the tank and was still visible as the orbiter cleared the Tower. The Legend of BATA the Bat-ronaut was born. This book would bring her to life.
Bats are amazing creatures. They can fly, hover and navigate using sonar with deceptive ease. And with a little genetic alteration and help from humans with special gifts, this bat begins a journey to discover her true potential. Along the way she develops heart warming relationships and faces daunting challenges. With great courage she even saves the International Space Station.
This book has attracted readers of all ages. It has especially attracted those who are interested in space, and wish they could experience the effects of space travel. It touches those who have been connected with or affected by the space program.
BATA will fuel the imagination and laughter of readers as she travels across America with her guide and confidant Czechi. They enlist the help of many "special people" in St. Augustine, whose powers have long been acknowledged. The book contains a writing style, wry humor and a story line that has crossover appeal to scientists as well as young children.
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