Monday, July 03, 2006
Ever since a vulture smacked into the rocketing space shuttle Discovery during its launch last year, NASA officials are worried enough about another big-bird incident that they are trying several unorthodox schemes to keep the carrion-eaters from the launch pad during liftoff.
They point out that the piece of falling foam that damaged and doomed the Columbia weighed less than 2 pounds, or about half the weight of a typical black vulture. Turkey vultures, which are larger and have pink heads, can weigh 6 pounds with a 6 foot wingspan.
I've seen flocks of these turkey vultures land on my yard and they are huge, creepy looking birds. I hope NASA can figure out a way to keep them away from the Shuttle...
...hmmm, maybe piping in Madonna songs ;-)
Update: I just heard that an 8" x 5" crack has been found on a bracket holding Discovery's insulation. Bad weather, vultures, and now this. Don't bet on a July 4th liftoff.