‘Big Bird’ Almost Went Up in Challenger Shuttle

If you have kids listening who still watch Sesame Street you’ll want to cover their ears. It was recently announced that Big Bird was almost a passenger on the doomed Challenger space shuttle in 1986. Caroll Spinney, who has played the Sesame Street character for 46 years, has a new documentary—I Am Big Bird—and he shared the tidbit while discussing the film with the Today show. Spinney say NASA thought that if Big Bird went into space, more kids would be interested in the space program. Although he had agreed to go up in the Challenger, ultimately, NASA decided Spinney “would not fit in the spacecraft” while wearing the bulky costume so plans for the flight were dropped. Spinney says he was replaced on the flight with teacher Christa McAuliffe.

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