Here's something you probably don't hear very often: A nuclear power plant that lights up thousands of homes in Florida has become a major refuge for a once-endangered species. Canals designed to divert power plant water provide a safe haven for crocodiles, a supremely cold-sensitive species that once numbered fewer than 300 in this country.
Apparently, outer space isn't high enough for some folks over at NASA. Earlier today, NASA confirmed that a small baggie of cocaine was found in the hangar housing the space shuttle Discovery. A shuttle maintenance worker found the dime bag outside the men's room, and reported it to security. So far, no one knows who brought the bag into the Kennedy Space Flight Center.
Journalists have already spilled gallons of ink and hogged terabytes of bandwidth with stories about the implications of switching from the Space Shuttle to the new Constellation system. Of course, most of the reporting has focused on the impact to NASA, thus ignoring another somewhat unlikely victim of the gap between the two programs: the economy of Florida.
In preparation for its October 27th test flight, the Ares I rocket has successfully made its way to the launch site at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. Situated on launch pad 39B, the Ares I represents the first step towards NASA's new, post-shuttle era.
This is the first new rocket design to blast off from that launch pad in almost 25 years. The rocket arrived at the launch pad at 9:17 AM yesterday, after a six-hour slow roll from its hanger. It took another 15 and a quarter hours to get the rocket fully situated.
For years, Burmese pythons have invaded Florida's Everglades National Park, preying on indigenous species. Tracking them down has proven time consuming and difficult, so Park wardens have begun testing a new hunting method imported straight from the front lines of the War on Terror: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and thermal imaging technology.
David Hallac of The National Park Service already uses manned, fixed-wing aircraft to search the Everglades for birds, and he said moving to UAVs to cut down on costs is the natural next step.
Normally, when a ship sets sail, one of the goals is to avoid sinking. However, USNS Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg cast off yesterday with the express purpose of ending up at the bottom of the briny deep. Purchased by Key West for $8.6 million, the former U.S. Navy ship was then sunk by demolition experts to provide a platform for a new coral reef.