I just returned from an amazing experience. My good friend Adam Nehr helped me arrange a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kennedy Space Center, the main NASA facility in Central Florida. I had a blast! I had the opportunity to stand directly under a Space Shuttle for several minutes and watch it be prepared for orbital flight! I did many other wonderful things, too.
As something of a space nut, I knew that my NASA escort would provide all sorts of interesting details. I also knew that when the Kennedy Space Center was created, tens of thousands of acres of pristine natural habitat were placed in permanent preservation so that NASA workers could labor on the space program without encroachment from the surrounding community.
What I didn’t know is that habitat preservation is a very big deal at the Kenney Space Center. Impressive! The scrub jay is an imperiled species in Florida and habitat preservation is one of the best things we can do to help these precious creatures. It turns out that NASA and its sister agencies which manage Kennedy Space Center spend big bucks preserving and restoring scrub habitat throughout the facility. This is very good news.
Everyone who treasures the space program can rest easy knowing that an appreciation for nature is not cast aside in the interest of progress. In fact, the pros and cons of NASA can be explored within a single facility. It’s a compromise in the strictest sense because the two disciplines of science and habitat preservation seldom interact in the wild but they do at the Kennedy Space Center.
I, for one, couldn’t be happier. Even as we reach for the stars, we assure that terrestrial species benefit from habitat preservation.
After all, it’s they only one they (and we) have!
Sustainable Justice For All!