Earth Day is an important day to celebrate. Kennedy Space Center finds it so important that they extended the celebrations for two days. The first day of celebrations took place on private property just for the employees located at KSC. Over 40 eco-friendly companies and schools came out to educate employees on the latest and greatest environmentally friendly products and technologies.
The next day these companies and schools came out to the Visitor Complex to educate the guests. This day we were also able to showcase the Bag Monster that we had previously made! We handed out coupons to the guests to get reusable bags at the gift shop.
Both days were a success and I truly feel that everyone who came out learned a lot. Hopefully it had opened people’s eyes to the importance of our Earth and that they begin to make environmentally friendly decisions. An exciting part of both of these days is that our very own Patel College of Sustainability was able to come out and set up a booth to further educate employees and guests on the great things that are happening at our college.
These past few weeks have been a whirlwind. I have been able to gain so many new experiences. One of the days I was there, I was able to shadow a company called IMSS. While I was there I was able to learn more about NASA’s Recycling and Sustainable Acquisition Program, visited toxic remediation sites, and was able go tortoise tracking along the launch pad shorelines. The shorelines at Kennedy Space Center are quickly eroding and coming closer to the launch pads. The biologist team has created sand dunes to sow down this process. The dunes are covered in native vegetation to make it more sturdy. They have been tracking how animals on the wildlife refuge are responding to it. The more animals that have inhibited it, the healthier the dunes are.
I have also been working on a few of my main projects. One of them is coming up with ideas for the Nature and Technology Exhibit, this exhibit is currently underutilized. I have a few ideas that I think might enhance the experience while still connecting people to the environment. I have also been working on a project with some astronauts, which I am going to keep secret for now
This week we put a lot of attention on Earth day. I went to an earth day meeting with all the NASA teams to make sure everything is going to smoothly. Earth day celebrations will take place over 2 two days. One day is on NASA property for employees, and the other day is at the visitor complex for the guests.
Something that we are doing for earth day is creating a “bag monster”. This is a costume that is made out of 500 plastic bags. This is supposed to represent the amount of bags that one person uses each year. We will use this to raise awareness and promote reusable bags when you go to the store.
Here is a photo of Trudy, Gina, and I making the costume.
Also, we are trying to put something special together that includes astronauts at Earth Day. Details will come later! In the mean time, here is a photo of me meeting astronaut Jim Reilly. He flew on three shuttle missions.
This photo is taken at the launch site of what was supposed to be the SpaceX Falcon9 Rocket. Two days in a row we went out to help manage this site, and sadly neither of the day the rocket went off. At least one of the days a rainbow appeared behind the rocket.
This week I was able to meet with the NASA SpinOff team to discuss future possibilities for the Nature and Technology exhibit. We focused in on spinoffs that were related to the environment and for animal tracking.
I was also a part of a meeting where we met with the NASA environmental regulations team. They inspected the HVAC machines in the maintenance area.
Lastly, I have been working on creating my presentation for the Nature and Technology exhibit. The photo below is my second slide. I made the nature and technology tree on Microsoft Powerpoint.
This week I was able to finish my article that will be posted on the Delaware North GreenPath news. The article is about the food that the KSC Visitor Complex is able to donate. I have pasted the article below!
“Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Gives Back in a Sustainable Way
Food waste has become a hot topic when discussing the issues of our planet. What most people fail to recognize is the amount of land, energy, and water that goes into making our food. Each one of these aspects is becoming increasingly more scarce. In the United States alone, 40% of all food goes to waste. With this in mind, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC) has recently been freezing hundreds of pounds of excess café food each week that meet strict health guidelines. This food is being donated to the Brevard Sharing Center in conjunction with the Second Harvest Food Bank. This excess food would usually be considered as waste and would be transported to a local landfill, but KSCVC is changing this habit.
The goal of this new and exciting program is to incorporate the values Delaware North’s GreenPath® program of continues improvement by minimizing food waste, while being able to give back to the local community. This program kicked off at the end of December in our Crewmember Lounge and Debus Center, but is planning to expand to other cafés in the near future. KSCVC is hoping that this small gesture will be able to help out the community and out planet in a big way.
The director of the Sharing Center has expressed her appreciation for all the food being donated. With all the food being donated from KSCVC on a weekly basis, they are able to incorporate the food into every meal which serves around 180 guests daily. The first incorporated meal was mac & cheese and the guests said they thoroughly enjoyed it!”
This week I learned that the visitor complex is replacing existing lights in the rocket garden with solar lights that are also wildlife friendly (because they sit on a wildlife refuge). I was able to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide that will be saved from going into the atmosphere, and it is a lot!
I was also able to work more on my Nature and Technology exhibit project. My supervisor and I sat down and discussed the possibilities for the exhibit. Many emails have been sent out to those at NASA who might be able to help us make this possible! Hopefully next week meeting dates will be set up and we will able to move forward with this project.
This week I had the ability to be up close for the last rocket launch of the Atlas 5 series. It was pretty amazing to watch! Below is photos of the launch site when the sun was rising around 7 am.
This week I also put together a presentation to showcase how LED lights would be more efficient for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex. The presentation was compromised of calculations of how much money that they could save, and how it could help them lower their carbon emissions.
Another thing I worked on was better learning the story and process behind the excess food that is being donated to the local sharing center. Each week the main kitchen is donating cooked food that would otherwise be taken to the landfill. This is part of their GreenPath program of continuous improvement. I am working on an article that will be published in Delaware North’s newsletter.
My internship takes place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with the contractor Delaware North!
My first project is to help identify opportunities to attract visitors to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (KSC currently sits in the middle of the wildlife refuge). It is important to create these opportunities because today’s society is losing touch with nature and the importance of it, and are more focused on the digital world. I present my opportunistic ideas to the marketing team next week, along with my ideas to enhance the Nature and Technology Exhibit!
Along with creating a presentation, I was also able to explore a piece of KSC. The first exhibit I was able to explore was “Atlantis”.