On Wednesday, May 27th, 2020, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex 39A in Florida had to call an alligator wrangler to the launch pad to remove a gator that wandered onto the site.
NASA’s space complex is located right beside Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge which contains 330 native and transient bird species, 117 fish, 25 mammal species, and 65 amphibian and reptile species. Having wildlife wander onto the property is nothing new, but with a launch coming up they couldn’ take any chances – so they call Frank Robb, an alligator trapping professional to come capture it.
“He had walked in the security gate, and was walking around there, just taking a stroll,” Frank told WGN News. “I think he wanted to go for a spaceflight personally – alligators in space is something we’re missing.”
Frank easily roped the gator and put him in the back of his truck to be transported off the property. With the gator gone, the astronauts could continue to prepare for the historic mission’s take-off.
The launch happened over the weekend and was the first time NASA ever used SpaceX rockets to transport astronauts. I was also the first time astronauts have taken off from U.S. soil since 2011.