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dino bones in space - was it a PR thing?



" The first dinosaur in space was Maiasaura peeblesorum  (a duck-billed 
dinosaur). A piece of bone from a baby Maiasaura and a Maiasaura eggshell were 
taken into space by astronaut Loren Acton on an 8-day NASA mission (Spacelab 2) 
in 1985. The historic Maiasaura fossils now reside at the Museum of the Rockies 
in Bozeman, Montana, USA. Maiasaura is the official state dinosaur of Montana 
(since 1985).

The second dinosaur in space was Coelophysis (a meat-eater). A Coelophysis 
skull was brought into space on the space shuttle Endeavor on January 22, 1998. 
It traveled to the space station Mir.  "


What was the point of that exercise?
I'm not objecting just a little perplexed.