You can’t eat science, it doesn’t get you wasted, you can’t have sex with it. So sometimes it’s kind of hard to get people interested. Which is why, to get the word out about all the sun and solar weather stuff they study, the people at NASA’s Solar Dynamics Laboratory have turned to a rubber chicken named Camilla.
Camilla wears many hats — well, she wears many rubber chicken outfits — at the Solar Dynamics Lab. She tweets. She blogs. She teaches kids about space missions. She goes into the uppermost reaches of the atmosphere in a hot air balloon. She has flown in something called a rolling NASA T-38 Talon. She is even getting certified to fly on the Russian spacecraft. During this training, Camilla went to Russia and caused quite a stir in Red Square. Everyone wanted to hang out with her, and probably get her totaled on vodka, but since she is in training, she doesn’t do stuff like that.
Strangely enough, Camilla started out as a joke around the SDL office. They were like, hey, let’s make this rubber chicken our mascot, hahahahah, and then it stuck. Which just goes to show you a bunch of uppity scientists can make all the jokes they want about a rubber chicken becoming an important mascot/blogger/ambassador of science, but if that rubber chicken is a strong woman who believes in herself she will triumph anyway, damn the pocket-protected naysayers.
How a Rubber Chicken Became a NASA Celebrity, Wired.