Wednesday, November 20, 2013

radio on poo

Birds and bats produce feces called guano, which is rich in ammonia, uric, phosphoric, carbonic and oxalic acids … Bat and bird guano were discovered by Europeans in the early nineteenth century to be … useful for both fertilizer and explosives. … Guano was … taken up on Gemini and Mercury space missions and was used as the propellant to deploy the radio transmission antennas after splashdown.

In my post Kill a Whale for the Moon I quoted a source saying sperm whale oil was used to lube machinery sent to the moon. It's nice no bird or bat had to die for their part in the space program.

source: The Origin of Feces: what excrement tells us about evolution, ecology, and a sustainable society by David Waltner-Toews

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