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NASA Space Science

NASA's Plan To Clean Up Space Program Launch Site Contamination 96

Elliot Chang tips a story about plans from NASA and the US Air Force to clean up the areas around the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which have been contaminated with decades worth of carcinogenic chemicals from launching Shuttles, the Apollo moon missions, and other rockets. The KSC cleanup is expected to take 30 years, and will cost an estimated $96 million. "By far, the most common contaminant is a chlorinated solvent called trichloroethylene, or 'trike,' and its breakdown products — substances known to cause birth defects and cancer and reaching concentrations thousands of times higher than federal drinking water standards allow. ... Kennedy's sandy, alkaline soils are thought to neutralize most metals and other contaminants before they become a problem up the food chain. But trike dies hard. And workers kept pouring it into the ground in the early years of the shuttle program, thinking it would evaporate."
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NASA's Plan To Clean Up Space Program Launch Site Contamination

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