Wed, Feb 27, 2008
One Proposal Calls For Launch Facility At Wildlife
If you propose to take one of
America's most popular wildlife sanctuaries and turn it into a
spaceport, you're pretty much guaranteed to get a turnout at your
NASA is proposing that 200 acres of Florida's Merritt Island
national Wildlife Sanctuary be taken for use as a private-sector
space launch facility. Among the hundreds of protestors packing
Titusville City Council chambers Monday were birdwatchers,
nude-recreationalists, and even former NASA engineers.
The Orlando Sentinel reports NASA will hold two more public
meetings on Thursday in New Smyrna Beach to gather information and
public reaction. A final environmental assessment is expected in
"That you would even consider it boggles my mind," said Orlando
resident Wes Biggs at the Titusville meeting, one of two recent
gatherings in the area. "The Merritt Island National Wildlife
Refuge isn't just another refuge. It's one of the jewels of the
federal wildlife system, and it is known worldwide."
Many meeting attendees so far are urging NASA to direct the new
development to the abandoned area called "Missile Row" at the Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station.
"We suggest instead that NASA negotiate with the US Air Force
for the long unused property once known as Missile Row, an area
south of the Atlas launch pad, nearer to where the Delta rockets
are currently launched," said local nudist Robert Allen.
NASA officials respond they lack authority to do so, because the
facility is still controlled by the Air Force. But Allen wonders
how big a problem that really is. "After all, it is simply taking
it from one federal pocket and putting it in another," he
We know, we know... that's an interesting comment from a guy who
doesn't believe in pockets.
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