With every ending comes a new beginning, as they say — so with the ending of the space shuttle program comes the beginning of a long environmental remediation at NASA's Florida facilities.
Five decades of spacecraft launches have taken a toll on the sandy soils beneath the Kennedy Space Center, according to a report by Florida Today. Plumes of chemicals will cost $96 million to clean up in the next 30 years, including $6 million this year.
The most common contaminant is trichloroethylene, or TCE, which was used to clean rocket engines (although not the space shuttle main engines). TCE cleans out the hydrocarbon deposits left over from burning rocket fuel, which could explode if ignited. NASA used to dump TCE straight into the ground, a practice that stopped by the mid-1970s.
As Florida Today points out, astronauts walked on the moon for the first time a year before President Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency. So the rocket launches of the 1950s and '60s pre-dated laws governing the toxic substances they produced.
TCE is a known carcinogen, and it persists in soil, particularly in the alkaline sands surrounding the Space Coast. NASA spends an average $8 million to $10 million a year cleaning up TCE and other hazards.
In all, there are apparently 267 known contaminated sites at KSC, 141 of which have been cleaned up. The rest are in various stages of assessment or remediation, Florida Today reports. Solvents and a host of flame retardants, arsenic and nickel penetrate the soils surrounding Launch Pad 39B, the main shuttle pad, the site reports. NASA is developing new methods to clean it up.
And this is just ground contamination — air pollution is a whole different story. Last year, a study examining private spaceflight found the tourism industry could dump large amounts of black carbon into the atmosphere, where it would change atmospheric conditions and potentially worsen global warming.
Apparently, humans leaving the Earth is not very good for its health.
Because NASA didn't have a "....Environmental Protection Agency...." with a person pointing a finger at them telling them it was wrong to dump toxins on the ground, they are going to claim innocence, because they were not smart enough to realize it was toxic pollutant and this could be unhealthy? Give me a break, oye! Well its after the fact, but I am glad they are cleaning it up now at least.
I just google to find the world population today:
International Data Base
19:15 UTC (EST+5) Aug 02, 2011
The writings of Helen Caldecott corroborates this material you are about to read.
Man thinks that he is so advanced just because he now has airliner jets and rockets. This idea of wanting to blast-off and jet around had its origins in Nazi-based rocketry inventions during WWII.
One evening, several months ago, I decided to do an in-depth study about the environmental impact of rocketing to space. To my amazement, I discovered that tratospheric balloons could meet most scientific research needs, and do so at a mere 25 miles altitude, where 99.8% of the atmosphere is gone.
If the HUBBLE TELESCOPE could hold itself in place at 25 miles out, it basically would operate just as well as it does at its geosynchronous orbit at 22,236 miles out. But, of course, it can't hold itself at such a low altitude, because it is not BUOYANT. It has to be at at almost 1000X's higher altitude, or it does not work.
Consider the Pollution that was spewed forth into our atmosphere, just to get the Hubble telescope into its present, somewhat stable orbit! How many solid rocket fuel-launched repairs has it taken, each with compiling environmental consequences? For instance, the perchlorate disaster of Lockheed Martin, that has poisoned over 300+ wells in Texas with its rocket testing program.
It appears to me that the environmental destruction which continues to happen with each launch, could all be avoided by utilizing stratospheric, recoverable balloon technology to it fullest potential.
How are we protecting the environment with the technology we are presently using to gather scientific data? Is it really necessary to 'stay the course', when we already have the technical solution to this rocketry pollution?
Aren't these important issues to keep in mind, i.e. how to design the least intrusive device possible, so as to protect our fragile ATMOSPHERIC ENVELOPE from harm? .
Please share this webpage with your colleagues.
(Take out the spaces to go to these links):
http:// darinselby.1hwy. com/floattospace. html
http:// darinselby.1hwy. com/NASASatelliteReEntryDanger. html
http:// darinselby.1hwy. com/MonsterMarsRocket. html
^Congress-approved monster Mars Rocket, that will be FILLED with 177 tons of Aluminum Oxide! (90% propellent for 10% payload.)