It is the night before our morning launch and the Corsair team is preparing for an all-nighter of shuttle and astronaut observation. As this blog is being composed the shuttle’s external hydrogen tank is being filled in preparation for the vessel’s 13-day interstellar mission.
During our time here we’ve been able to catch glimpses of the diverse habitat that is the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which is a part of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The 140,000-acre refuge was established in 1963 and is home for 1,500 species of plants and animals. According to the Kennedy Space Center website, the federally protected environment is made up of coastal dunes, saltwater estuaries and marshes, freshwater impoundments, scrub, pine flatwoods and hardwood hammocks. Canals along the sides of NASA Parkway were loaded with alligators, great white herons, turtles and other aquatic life.
The result of nearly half a century of wild growth intermingled with mankind’s space-bound contraptions creates an interesting contrast. If only other segments of our highly-developed society could co-exist with nature in such a seemingly harmonious manner.