Coventry & Warwickshire

Nasa to launch rubber chicken in Rugby woman's knitted suit

A rubber chicken wearing an outfit knitted from plastic bags by a woman from Rugby is to be launched into space by Nasa on Sunday.

Sue Drage, 62, was asked by the US space agency to knit a new protective suit for Camilla the chicken.

The opportunity was set up through BBC Coventry & Warwickshire after she took part in a charity "knitathon".

"I feel quite honoured. It's the first suit that's gone from this country," she said.

"Camilla has lots of outfits knitted for her by people America, so they thought it was a good way of putting Britain on the map."

Mrs Drage started knitting with plastic bags last year, but has been crafting everything from bags to jewellery with recycled materials for years.

'Annular eclipse'

She has never had a client like Camilla before though.

"I can't believe how it's all blown out of proportion, really," she said.

The rubber chicken is the mascot of Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory and is used as a way to educate young people about the space programme and science.

Image caption Camilla spent about 90 minutes in the stratosphere on a flight in March to study solar radiation

Mrs Drage said: "Before this I didn't even know it existed. I thought it was a live chicken the first time I heard about it.

"It took me three attempts - I'm not one for giving up - and I had to get a rubber chicken to check the sizes, but I managed to do it."

Camilla will be launched to capture the shadow on Earth caused by the annular eclipse, where the Moon moves in between Earth and the Sun.

Mrs Drage said she planned to watch the launch on Sunday with her husband, Richard.

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