Big Bird almost rode the Challenger space shuttle - but his costume saved him
"In 1984, NASA created the Space Flight Participant Program to select teachers, journalists, artists, and other people who could bring their unique perspective to the human spaceflight experience as a passenger on the space shuttle," NASA said in the statement. "A review of past documentation shows there were initial conversations with Sesame Street regarding their potential participation on a Challenger flight, but that plan was never approved."Though Spinney didn't go into space as Big Bird, he still felt a special connection to the Challenger the day it exploded."We were taping another episode of Sesame Street at the time it went up and they said, 'The ship is about to take off so we're going to punch the broadcast of the takeoff onto the monitors on the set,'" Spinney told CDC News. "So we stopped working and watched the monitors and when we saw it blow up, it was like my scalp crawled."
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