John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is a NASA "center of excellence" for launch and payload processing. KSC is located on a barrier island, called Merritt Island, about 34 miles long and varying in width from five to 10 miles. The total land and water area covers just over 140,000 acres, however, only 6,000 acres are actually used for space shuttle operations.

Kennedy Space Center is also a National Wildlife Refuge. There are more than 15 varieties of endangered wildlife at KSC. There are at least five active bald eagle nests around the Center. Between May and September, thousands of endangered sea turtles come ashore on this barrier island in the dark of night to lay their eggs.

Prior to each KSC space shuttle landing, it is the task of a special crew to clear the runway of all debris, including any alligators that might be sunning themselves on the runway surface.

Rescued on behalf of The Nodeshell Rescue Team.

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