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Rounding up roadkill for shuttle safety - Kennedy Space Center
Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 4/27/06 | Irene Klotz

Posted on 04/27/2006 2:00:59 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA is trying to rid the Kennedy Space Center of vultures after the shuttle struck one of the large birds during lift-off last year on the first flight after the Columbia disaster.

The space center has set up what it calls a "road kill posse" to quickly clear as many carcasses as possible from the 6,000-acre site (2,400-hectare), in hopes of encouraging the vulture population to relocate by cutting off its food supply.

When shuttle Discovery lifted off the launch pad last July on the first flight since the 2003 Columbia accident, it hit a vulture during its climb to orbit.

Discovery did not suffer any damage that time, from the vulture or from the chunks of foam that fell off its fuel tank during launch. But NASA fears collisions with the large, carrion-eating birds could damage shuttle heat shields, leaving the spacecraft vulnerable to an accident like the one that killed Columbia's seven astronauts.

"We need everyone's help," the agency wrote in newsletters distributed to the space center's work force last week. "A crew will be sent to quickly remove the carrion before the vultures are attracted to the free meal."

About 500 pounds of animal carcasses have been removed since the program began two weeks ago, the center said.

In addition to picking up dead animals, the space center said it was employing other tactics to discourage the vultures, including testing a sound system that would broadcast loud noises and spraying a noxious chemical. The center said it would also try to trap and remove the birds.

The agency is preparing to resume shuttle launches this summer from the space center, which lies within a wildlife preserve.

Its roads are dotted with the bodies of possums, raccoons, feral pigs, squirrels, birds and other animals fallen victim to traffic. The center is asking anyone who sees dead animals to call a "roadkill" hotline to report the location.


TOPICS: Government; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: kennedyspacecenter; roadkill; roundingup; safety; shuttle

1 posted on 04/27/2006 2:01:03 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Betcha that left a mark....on the vulture.....


2 posted on 04/27/2006 2:02:16 PM PDT by ContemptofCourt
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To: NormsRevenge
Its roads are dotted with the bodies of possums, raccoons, feral pigs, squirrels, birds and other animals ..

Wild pigs?

3 posted on 04/27/2006 2:02:59 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: NormsRevenge

If you've never bee to Cape Canaveral, it's a little hard to picture, but the space complex is quite literally in the middle of a wildlife preserve. So yes, feral pigs would be a problem.


4 posted on 04/27/2006 2:05:42 PM PDT by blau993 (a/k/a IPW 993)
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To: NormsRevenge

Florida has some of the biggest and meanest wild pigs you ever saw. And good eating too..... You try living in a swamp with millions of mosquitoes cottonmouth moccasins and alligators and you'll be pretty mean I'll bet.


5 posted on 04/27/2006 2:06:53 PM PDT by Ben Mugged (If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.)
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To: blau993
Been near there, I know it's a pretty good sized area,, Thanks!.


6 posted on 04/27/2006 2:07:57 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: Ben Mugged

Good point. :)


7 posted on 04/27/2006 2:08:33 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: NormsRevenge
"Food! Glorious Food!"
8 posted on 04/27/2006 2:11:38 PM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: NormsRevenge
How soon with the environmentalists sue NASA to require them to leave the roadkill where it is?
9 posted on 04/27/2006 2:12:42 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Congress, since you only understand Spanish here is my proposal: ¡Amnistía, no! ¡Deportación, sí!)
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To: blau993

We had a racoon problem at SAEF-II. In fact it got so bad, we literally had to run to our cars in the evening (1am) to avoid being swarmed by em. Some fool was feeding em!


10 posted on 04/27/2006 2:13:17 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer (Senior member of Darwin Central)
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To: NormsRevenge

That sounds like one of the more unappealing summer jobs I've ever heard of.


11 posted on 04/27/2006 2:13:30 PM PDT by MplsSteve
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To: NormsRevenge
...Wild pigs?...

Yes and big too.

I worked out at KSC for 12 years and saw some big mommas.

I hit a big pig one morning and it lifted the car up as it rolled under the chassis.

12 posted on 04/27/2006 2:15:54 PM PDT by FReepaholic (I was FReepin' when FReepin' wasn't cool.)
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To: MplsSteve

Road Kill Posse. Sounds like a band to me.


13 posted on 04/27/2006 2:16:45 PM PDT by SoCalRight
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To: FReepaholic

I was there in 88-89. Wonder if we were there at the same time.


14 posted on 04/27/2006 2:20:53 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer (Senior member of Darwin Central)
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To: NormsRevenge

Peta alert! PETA alert! PETA ALERT!
Somebody please call PETA!


15 posted on 04/27/2006 2:41:00 PM PDT by pankot
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To: NormsRevenge

Yes, wild pigs. An aunt in Florida saw some immigrant hunters butcher one when the land next to her house was undeveloped.


16 posted on 04/27/2006 2:46:33 PM PDT by Fudd
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To: BenLurkin; All

All FReepers are welcome to the WV Road Kill Cookoff in Marlinton, Pocahontas Co, WV on Sept. 30, 2006.


17 posted on 04/27/2006 2:56:48 PM PDT by Roccus
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To: NormsRevenge
Yes they are all over the country...mostly feral pigs...you know domestic stock gone wild. there are no true pigs in America. The closest is the Javelina (or Collard Peccary) which are close to the pig family, but no cigar.

True wild boar is represented by Russian Boar which has also been released for sport hunting in parts of the country. These have gotten free and have matted with the feral pigs....

after many generations in the wild the feral Boar will start to share some of the traits of true wild Russian Boar and will have a ridge of sharp bristly hairs on their back.

These are famous in song and story (and if the truth be known as sports team mascots), as RAZORBACKS.

The male pig or Boar has what is called a gristle plate that protects its back and shoulder and rib cage. Hunters with not so high power rifles and archers have had their shots deflected by this gristle and then have been charged by these ferocious animals whose tusks can inflict serious injury to man and beast.
18 posted on 04/27/2006 3:09:44 PM PDT by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: NormsRevenge

Did they ever hear of controlling the speed on the roadway?


19 posted on 04/27/2006 3:31:56 PM PDT by Sarajevo
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To: NormsRevenge
Wild pigs?

In addition to the small stuff, there are lots of deer, feral hogs, alligators and even bear to contend with on the space center roads.

20 posted on 04/27/2006 4:20:10 PM PDT by fso301
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To: RadioAstronomer
...I was there in 88-89. Wonder if we were there at the same time. ...

I was there from 1986 thru 1998 with a brief layoff after the 51-L accident.

21 posted on 04/27/2006 6:44:31 PM PDT by FReepaholic (I was FReepin' when FReepin' wasn't cool.)
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To: NormsRevenge
"(static).. ah, Houston, we have a problem.... roger, somebody set up us the bird, over... (static)"
22 posted on 04/27/2006 7:01:54 PM PDT by Jonah Hex ("How'd you get that scar, mister?" "Nicked myself shaving.")
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