Sunday, September 26, 2010

NASA JSC - Longhorns in the Rocket Park!

Last week I introduced to you how brown Prairie Chickens are nesting at the Johnson Space Center. It always warms my heart to hear, read and see stories like these.

Longhorns at the Rocket Park

Today I would like to introduce you to another great Animal Care Program. This time the Longhorn Heritage Project.

The Longhorn Heritage Project, developed jointly by Johnson Space Center, the Clear Creek Independent School District, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America, provides local high school students with a one-of-a-kind learning environment that combines Western heritage with state of the art technology.

Stephanie Basset feeding a Longhorn in front of the Saturn V Building

While the students learn about animal husbandry, fruit and vegetable cultivation, aquaculture, soil research and recycling technologies, they also discover how that knowledge relates to the future of human space flight. The use of soil simulants, alternate plant growth techniques, closed-loop life support systems to recycle food, water and waste all are critical technologies that will allow humans to expand further into Space.

The project contains vegetable gardens, a fruit orchard, aquaculture ponds, a classroom and a teacher's resource center on 60 acres of land.

Heifer Calf Daisy 
The Texas Longhorn is a breed of cattle known for its characteristic horns, which can extend to 7 feet (2.1 meters) tip to tip for steers and exceptional cows, and 36 to 80 inches (0.9 to 2.0 meters) tip to tip for bulls. Horns can have a slight upward turn at their tips or even triple twist. Texas Longhorns are known for their diverse coloring. 

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