2004 SLSTP Research
The following hyperlinks lead to descriptions of research conducted by undergraduate college students participating in NASA's Spaceflight and Life Sciences Training Program at Kennedy Space Center during the summer of 2004.
Plant Health Evaluation
Coastal Vegetation Dynamics
Bacterial Spore Survivability
Fixation Tube Biocompatibility
Interactive Plant Database
Nutrient Delivery Systems
Land Surface Model
Life Support Salad Crops
Composting Space Refuse
Controlling Bacteria In Spac
Plant Outreach Database
Reporter Gene Analyses
Pond Sediment Metal Concentrations in the Vicinity of the Space Shuttle Launch Pads at The Kennedy Space Center
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is concerned with how its activities impact environment surrounding the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). One such activity is the Space Shuttle launch and the metal deposition resulting from its plume. This study measures metal concentration (Zn, Al) in the ponds surrounding Space Shuttle Pads 39-A and 39-B. Sediment samples were analyzed by the Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emissions Spectrometer (ICP OEM) according to the Standard Method 3051. Results show that, although slightly more elevated than the control, aluminum concentration is decreasing at both pads while zinc is increasing at Pad 39-B but decreasing at Pad 39-A. Many factors, such as the number of launches, intensity and direction of plume deposition, amount of rainfall, and circulation of the water at each pond, can play a significant impact on the metal concentrations at each site. Future research on metal bioaccumulation on the local flora and fauna will show any overall ecosystem impact.
Above: Annual Concentrations of Al near Pad 39-A, 39-B, and a Control Site in the Banana River.
Above: Annual Concentrations of Zn near Pad 39-A, 39-B, and a Control Site in the Banana River.
The concentrations of Al and Zn are greater around Pad 39-A and Pad 39-B when compared to the Al and Zn concentrations of the control site in the Banana River. The concentration of Al metal in the sediments surrounding launch pads 39-A and 39-B fluctuates periodically but the basal concentration of Al decreases as a function of time. The concentration of Zn metal in the sediments surrounding Pad 39-A also fluctuates periodically but the basal concentration of Zn decreases as a function of time in the vicinity of Pad 39-A. However, the concentration of Zn metal in the sediments surrounding Pad 39-B fluctuate periodically and increase as a function of time. These data refute the increasing metal basal concentration hypothesis. Many factors, such as the number of launches, intensity and direction of plume deposition, amount of rainfall, and circulation of the water at each pond, can play a significant impact on the metal concentrations at each site.
Author: David Ishiyama, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Principal Investigator: Mario Mota, Dynamac Corporation
Click here to download a printable Microsoft PowerPoint version of this research.