Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chickens in Space!

Okay, the title was a bit misleading. I researched the animal astronaut files on the NASA website and there don't appear to have been any chicken astronauts. Mice, frogs, dogs, monkeys, newts, turtles, chimpanzees and even a stray French cat, but no chickens. Clearly NASA shows a slight prejudice to our favorite egg-producing yard fowl, which is a shame. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know if a chicken can lay an egg in space? And if so, is that egg edible? Maybe I'm the only person who ponders these things - clearly no one at NASA has.

This all came up because the Space Shuttle Endeavor finally took off yesterday after a month of delays on its journey to the International Space Station. The boys were less than enthused to stand outside at 6 p.m. and watch it because a) they were convinced it wouldn't go up again and b) dinner was on the table and they both professed to be starving. But it did go up and Clementine watched it with us. I'm not sure she was as impressed as a chicken should be witnessing her first shuttle launch, but at least she got to experience it.

And I got a photo of a chicken watching the space shuttle go up.

However, it was the most boring launch we've ever witnessed. The sky was bright, hazy, and cloudy and the conditions were not favorable for good visibility. Oddly enough the wind must have been blowing the right way because we heard the shuttle go up, which doesn't happen too often. The loud roar of the engines rumbled through our back yard soon after take-off.

And because of the crappy viewing conditions, I did have to take the photo into Photoshop and "blue up" the sky a bit so that you could make out the tiny dot that is the space shuttle. It's not my best work, but it does help you to see where the shuttle trajectory falls from our viewpoint.

Compare that daytime launch photo with the two sets of night launch photos I posted on the blog for previous missions. Big difference huh?

The other launch photos might have been more spectacular, but this photo did have a chicken watching the launch. I wonder how many people can say THAT?


Darla said...

Wonder if a chicken could lay an egg in space...LOL. I think your photo is precious. You are probably the only family that had a chicken observe the launch.

Ribbit said...

The picture is priceless!!

Dani said...

I'm surprised you got them outside! My girl turns into a big grump butt when she's hungry. :)

Momma_S said...

LOL! I wonder if the egg would come out oval-shaped in space...

Maybe you could contact NASA to see if they would consider taking a chicken, and suggest experiments they could conduct. teehee I'm sure the kids would have some great ideas!

donna said...

So glad I didn't miss this post and the photo of your kids along with Clementine watching the launch. Priceless! I've always wondered why chickens never get chosen for space travel. Doesn't seem fair, they do so much for us. I eat a hard-boiled egg almost every day, so they get my vote for the next trip. Maybe NASA can't get the helmets to fit right. Now I'm getting stupid. It's late, I'm tired. Impressive that you live so close that you can take pictures of Endeavor from your yard.

redhott said...

NASA actually considered sending birds into space early on. Thankfully someone informed them that birds use gravity to drink. The question of whether they lay eggs in zero gravity is moot because they would die of thirst before that happens. Why is it we hurt the ones we love?

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