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?