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Vultures Around Shuttle Cause Flap
Cox News Service ^ | Andrew Marra

Posted on 07/03/2006 3:24:45 AM PDT by beyond the sea

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — When a vulture had the misfortune to glide over the rocketing space shuttle Discovery during its launch last year, there was no doubt about who would win.

But the bird became more than a splat on a fuel tank: It kick-started an entire movement.

Although the vulture didn't damage the shuttle, NASA officials are worried enough about another big-bird incident that they are trying several unorthodox schemes to keep the carrion-eaters from the launch pad during Saturday's scheduled liftoff.

Methods like removing dead animals from the area. And luring dozens of vultures into a cage. Officials even tried blasting gunshot sounds from giant speakers.

What's more, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is testing a special "avian radar" designed to detect approaching birds before liftoff.

"We're concerned about the birds flying above the shuttle," said Jeff Spaulding, a NASA test director. "A vulture is a pretty large bird, so it does give us some concern. Especially if it hits a sensitive area."

It's often hard for NASA officials to talk about their vulture problems with straight faces, but they say the fundamental issue is serious. They point out that the piece of falling foam that damaged and doomed the Columbia weighed less than 2 pounds, or about half the weight of a typical vulture.

"These are 4- to 6-pound birds," said John Shannon, deputy manager of NASA's space shuttle program. "We laugh about it, but it's a serious risk."

Vultures are nothing new to the Kennedy Space Center. NASA's launch pad is situated on a large national wildlife refuge, where birds of prey are common. But it's only in the last year that space center officials have paid this much attention to them.

(Excerpt) Read more at oxfordpress.com ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: animalrights; environment; shuttle; space; vultures

1 posted on 07/03/2006 3:24:50 AM PDT by beyond the sea
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To: All
Although the vulture didn't damage the shuttle, NASA officials are worried enough about another big-bird incident that they are trying several unorthodox schemes to keep the carrion-eaters from the launch pad during Saturday's scheduled liftoff. Methods like removing dead animals from the area. And luring dozens of vultures into a cage. Officials even tried blasting gunshot sounds from giant speakers.

Play Hillary's "I'm sick and tired ............. " speech......... they'll leave immediately.

;-)

2 posted on 07/03/2006 3:28:58 AM PDT by beyond the sea (Scientists Are Itching to Blame Poison Ivy's Effect on Global Warming)
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To: beyond the sea

Birdstrike risks aside.....it's a pretty foreboding sight when you're a crewmember. It doesn't exactly instill confidence.


3 posted on 07/03/2006 3:29:41 AM PDT by edpc (What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly - Thomas Paine, American Crisis)
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To: All; doug from upland; Mia T
Sound: "I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration."

Visual: Vultures leaving pronto!

4 posted on 07/03/2006 3:31:56 AM PDT by beyond the sea (Scientists Are Itching to Blame Poison Ivy's Effect on Global Warming)
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To: beyond the sea
Vultures

You mean the Press?

5 posted on 07/03/2006 3:32:36 AM PDT by Begin (Mister, we could use a man like Ronald Reagan again.)
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To: edpc
Birdstrike risks aside.....it's a pretty foreboding sight when you're a crewmember. It doesn't exactly instill confidence.

Foreshadowing?

6 posted on 07/03/2006 3:33:19 AM PDT by beyond the sea (Scientists Are Itching to Blame Poison Ivy's Effect on Global Warming)
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To: Begin
Vultures ....... You mean the Press?

That's exactly what I was thinking -- that or the Democrats AND the Press when the deaths incurred in Iraq hit a nice round number that they find convenient.

7 posted on 07/03/2006 3:35:24 AM PDT by beyond the sea (Scientists Are Itching to Blame Poison Ivy's Effect on Global Warming)
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To: edpc

They are actualy turkey buzzards and are quite common here in Florida.


8 posted on 07/03/2006 3:36:30 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: beyond the sea

Exactly....but I hope not.


9 posted on 07/03/2006 3:37:02 AM PDT by edpc (What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly - Thomas Paine, American Crisis)
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To: driftdiver
I am not suprises.....with all those old folks in Florida, the vultures are probably antsy.

;-)

10 posted on 07/03/2006 3:38:33 AM PDT by edpc (What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly - Thomas Paine, American Crisis)
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To: beyond the sea
But the bird became more than a splat on a fuel tank: It kick-started an entire movement.

A fitting end for the NYT reporter.

11 posted on 07/03/2006 3:48:49 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: edpc

They kinda freaked me out when I first moved here. Had a big ole dead tree across the street that always had 3-4 buzzards in it watching as you stepped out in the morning.

Road kill doesn't last long as they keep the streets pretty clean. The buzzards do I mean, not the old people.


12 posted on 07/03/2006 3:54:47 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: driftdiver

Condor 1, eagle 2, turkey vulture 3. Size/weight rating.


13 posted on 07/03/2006 4:01:00 AM PDT by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: beyond the sea

I shot a 96 this weekend, so I'll be happy to take care of it for the price of 10 boxes of number 4 shotgun shells. (Seems about the right size to me for shooting vulture since they are more or less turkey sized....thoughts?)


14 posted on 07/03/2006 4:05:00 AM PDT by tcostell (MOLON LABE)
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To: tcostell

a 22/250 when they are setting, poof, no more problem.


15 posted on 07/03/2006 4:58:09 AM PDT by hadaclueonce (shoot low, they are riding Shetlands.....)
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To: beyond the sea

All they need to do is create a circumference of dead animals 3 miles from the launch.


16 posted on 07/03/2006 5:03:34 AM PDT by HankReardon
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To: driftdiver

Where did you live that you didn't see buzzards?


17 posted on 07/03/2006 5:05:04 AM PDT by HankReardon
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To: beyond the sea
Play Hillary's "I'm sick and tired ............. " speech......... they'll leave immediately

Trouble is, that would make everyone leave, including the Astronauts and NASA personnel.
18 posted on 07/03/2006 5:17:22 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Man was made in the image of God, not pond scum)
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To: beyond the sea

I.R.S. agents on vacation?


19 posted on 07/03/2006 5:23:43 AM PDT by Osage Orange (Anyone can call themselves a Christian....................)
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To: beyond the sea
I think you're on to something. Shrillary has one of those voices that put me on edge, in general.

Since I can't fly away, I change the offending station, or turn off the radio/tv.

20 posted on 07/03/2006 5:27:05 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: reagan_fanatic

And that would be the best possible thing. The Shuttle has proven itself. As a disaster and a danger.


21 posted on 07/03/2006 5:27:48 AM PDT by bvw
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To: HankReardon

lived up north. the buzzards were there but you rarely saw them. they are quite common here.


22 posted on 07/03/2006 5:29:25 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: reagan_fanatic
Yeah, but they're supposed to be wearing either headphones or hearing protectors.

They could always play Randi Rhodes or Rita Cosby as background, to cover up Hillary.

23 posted on 07/03/2006 5:29:36 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: tcostell

Hmmm, you might have some competiton. Dick Cheney was down there, wasn't he?


24 posted on 07/03/2006 5:31:57 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: beyond the sea
they are trying several unorthodox schemes to keep the carrion-eaters from the launch pad during Saturday's scheduled liftoff



Officials even tried blasting gunshot sounds from giant speakers

Overpaid effeminate eggheads
25 posted on 07/03/2006 5:32:24 AM PDT by Vision ("America's best days lie ahead. You ain't seen nothing yet"- Reagan)
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To: tcostell

Sounds reasonable.


26 posted on 07/03/2006 5:52:54 AM PDT by beyond the sea (Scientists Are Itching to Blame Poison Ivy's Effect on Global Warming)
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To: reagan_fanatic

LOL!


27 posted on 07/03/2006 5:53:41 AM PDT by beyond the sea (Scientists Are Itching to Blame Poison Ivy's Effect on Global Warming)
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To: beyond the sea

"I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. "

This needs to be put on a soundtrack with Dixie Chicks, "I don't see any need for patriotism".


28 posted on 07/03/2006 6:00:47 AM PDT by SampleMan
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To: beyond the sea

Fake a car crash two miles away, and all the lawy...er, I mean, vultures will flock to it with business car...claws out...then hit the "start" button quick.


29 posted on 07/03/2006 6:23:35 AM PDT by LachlanMinnesota
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To: driftdiver
Also common here at Lake of the Ozarks. Moving them away is easy: Place the carcass of one dead deer five miles from where you don't want to be. They'll find the deer in 24 hours.
30 posted on 07/03/2006 6:37:51 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: beyond the sea

I wonder if that lead mine on the Gored farm is still polluting the Tennessee River?


31 posted on 07/03/2006 6:50:12 AM PDT by Young Werther
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To: SampleMan

Good idea.


32 posted on 07/03/2006 6:52:58 AM PDT by beyond the sea (Scientists Are Itching to Blame Poison Ivy's Effect on Global Warming)
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To: LachlanMinnesota

LOL.


33 posted on 07/03/2006 6:53:20 AM PDT by beyond the sea (Scientists Are Itching to Blame Poison Ivy's Effect on Global Warming)
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