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NASA, FL, and hurricanes...

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by MSM Hobbes, Sep 7, 2004.

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  1. MSM Hobbes

    MSM Hobbes Thread Starter

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    Ok, lets say that you are going to construct a facility somewheres in the continental USA for the building, maintenance, launching, support, etc. of your space operations.

    You choose Florida, the eastern coast specifically, due to various favourable conditions.

    You put up your buildings.

    You then construct these buildings to withstand what type of inclement weather?

    Please, tell me what in tarnation they were smoking/drinking when they built these various structures there why they didn't spend the tad extra to have them able to withstand cat 4 hurricanes, at the least?

    Don't they know that hurricanes visit FL? :confused: :rolleyes:

    http://spaceflightnow.com/hurricane/040906postfrances.html

    According to NASA:
    "KSC's elevation is approximately nine feet, so we are concerned about both wind damage and water intrusion in the event of a storm surge. The Orbiter Processing Facility is constructed of concrete and steel and was designed to withstand winds of 105 mph. The Vehicle Assembly Building is constructed of concrete and steel and was designed to withstand winds of 125 mph. Other payload and flight hardware support facilities can endure winds of 110 mph. Launch pads and the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility can withstand 125-mph winds."

    So,,, these buildings are only designed to withstand winds of 105-125 mph...

    And, a typical hurricane has winds of:
    Level 1, 74-95 mph
    Level 2, 96-110 mph
    Level 3, 111-130 mph
    Level 4, 131-155 mph
    Level 5, 156 mph

    In a quick search, going only back to 1930, was able to find at least four storms w/ winds over 100 mph that had directly impacted the Cape Canaveral area; ranging from 100 to 150+.

    Sorry, guess its just the Boy Scout in me coming out... you know, be prepared. And I would think that these buildings would have been made more stronger... strange...

    Oh, if interested, the following link is pretty cool in showing where, what, when, etc. of storms over past 100+ years, all over the world... :cool:

    http://hurricane.csc.noaa.gov/hurricanes/viewer.htm
     
  2. Bush Lady

    Bush Lady

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    Jul 25, 2004
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    3,440
    The building was already damaged in the last hurricane. When this one goes through Florida at a cat. 5 . The building will be completely destroyed. NASA will not be able to launch a shuttel for years. It is beyond me why NASA picked Florida for their launch site.
     
  3. cnelson04

    cnelson04

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    Dec 28, 2003
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    896
    I belive it had somthing to do with the postioning of the sun/moon or somthing like that i was watching something on the discovery chanel on it but..i feel alseep. lol. :p
     
  4. MSM Hobbes

    MSM Hobbes Thread Starter

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    As to why build at the Cape, the official history is thus:

    From "The Kennedy Space Center Story", found at http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/kscstory/ch1/ch1.htm:
    "As the range and sophistication of the V-2 and follow-on rocket systems increased, it became evident that a new, long-range test site was needed. In October 1949, President Harry S. Truman established the Joint Long Range Proving Grounds at Cape Canaveral, Fla.

    The Cape was ideal for testing missiles. Virtually undeveloped, it enabled personnel to inspect, fuel and launch missiles without danger to nearby communities. The area's climate also permitted year-round operations, and rockets could be launched over water instead of populated areas. A chain of islands extending southeastward from Grand Bahama to Ascension provided sites for tracking stations to follow the progress of missiles in flight. Some years later, many of these same factors led to selection of the area adjacent to Cape Canaveral -- Merritt Island -- as the location of the Kennedy Space Center.

    After the proving grounds were established, the Air Force took over the nearby Banana River Naval Air Station -- renamed Patrick Air Force Base in honor of Maj. Gen. Mason Patrick, the first chief of the Army Air Corps -- located 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of the Cape. Here, in 1951, the Air Force established headquarters for the Air Force Missile Test Center, which included a range. These facilities were redesignated in 1964 as the Air Force Eastern Test Range, which became Detachment 1, Space and Missile Test Center in 1977, and was redesignated the Eastern Space and Missile Center in 1979.

    An Army team from White Sands conducted the first rocket launch from Cape Canaveral on July 24, 1950. The rocket was called Bumper 8, a modified V-2 with a WAC (Without Any Control) Corporal stage mounted on top. It achieved an altitude of 10 miles (16 kilometers). The launch facilities used for Bumper 8 contrast sharply with those in use on the Cape today. For that primitive launch, Army technicians employed a painter's scaffold as a gantry to service the rocket before launch, and the control center was a converted tarpaper bathhouse surrounded by sandbags." :)

    ---------------------------------

    I have a lot of love and support for exploration, space, astronomy, physics, and science, along w/ most of the intentions of NASA. What buggers me tho' is the stupidity, short-sidedness, and dumb-arse decisions [or lack thereof...] that have plagued this agency, time and time again.

    As to my original post in this thread indicates, I have no understanding as to why NASA did not build a stronger structure, or since that time, with better comprehension and materials, has never reinforced [if so possible] these structures... :confused: To me its much simpler, easier, and cheaper IN THE LONG RUN to "do it right the first time"! And be prepared for the worst-case scenerio.

    However, NASA has had a long-time problem of proper money management. For a just a couple of articles of NASA's semi-inept financial state of mind [remember, this is our tax dollars at "work" :rolleyes: ]:

    http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/missions/fl_iss_010620a.html
    21Jun01 CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA struggled with massive work and testing delays on the International Space Station and badly underestimated costs to build and run it -- missteps that cost $4 billion and crippled the outpost's scientific promise.

    NASA managers failed to grasp the complexity of space station Alpha, a FLORIDA TODAY investigation found. They ignored inspectors' warnings of ballooning costs and over-optimism. And they burned through almost $1 billion earmarked for thrust and living modules that may never be built.

    The $4 billion overrun announced in April was the second of its size in three years. The space agency has never publicly explained where the money went. And NASA director Dan Goldin offered little if any explanation to Congress.

    http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/shuttle_gao_030102.html
    02Jan03 CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's recent decision to move major maintenance and modification work on the space shuttle from California to Florida was "sound," the General Accounting Office (GAO) said Thursday. However, the GAO also said "NASA needs to do a better job in preparing and documenting the cost analysis and methodologies used in its decision-making process."

    Because of those shortcomings, the GAO said it wasn't fully able to verify the facts NASA used to make its decision to move shuttle overhaul work from a Boeing facility in Palmdale, Calif., to the United Space Alliance (USA)-managed Orbiter Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center.
     
  5. celticsong22

    celticsong22

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    Actually, the eastern coast of FL is seldom impacted in a big way by hurricanes. It is rare for central FL to get winds over 100 mph. I'm curious as to which hurricanes actually hit in the last century as I was recently informed by local weather channels that central, eastern FL hasn't sustained a direct hit from a major hurricane since the 1800's. That isn't to say that they don't skirt their way up the coast or cut across from time to time, but it's rare to see one blast through from the Atlantic. I'm sure that must've figured into the decision to build there.

    Another thing that I would imagine plays a part in this is the fact that most buildings wouldn't be able to withstand repeated impact over a course of many years. Concrete begins breaking down and weakening within 20 years. The VA building was built probably in the 60's- some 40 or more years ago. I saw it in person when I was 10 or 11. Perhaps NASA assumed that it was inevitable that they would have to reconstruct it eventually, anyway, and a good blow would provide the excuse to go bionic with a new structure! Considering the need for satellites and space stations, etc., it is obvious that our way of life and defense depends upon the continuity of the Cape. As for the time involved...the only thing in FL that seem to take years to construct are the necessary roadways! If NASA wants the Cape reconstructed, perhaps all they need to do is put mouse ears on it and watch the thing go up in a few weeks! (You think I'm kidding? Try adding a rat coaster or even a tank with a Shamu wannabee from SeaWorld and you'd be amazed!) Actually, if the government was run by the major theme parks, we'd have no debt and be able to fund any building we wanted!
     
  6. MSM Hobbes

    MSM Hobbes Thread Starter

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    LOL!!! :)

    Of course, I'm sure that some would say that Dumbo, etal. have already been a resident of the White House, at some point in time, along w/ the clowns and other rodents in Congress... ;)
     
  7. celticsong22

    celticsong22

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    Partisanship aside, I think politicians ARE rodents, for the most part, and YES, I think the country would be more efficiently run were it under business authority. Put Bill Gates or Donald Trump in charge and we'd turn a profit! (Of course, they would, too!) [​IMG]
     
  8. TOF

    TOF

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    Goes to show that the nature is mightier than technology. Things are gonna get worse. Judgements are coming.

    Repent! :eek:
     
  9. celticsong22

    celticsong22

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    I have. So, blowin' in the wind will make us all look like Mary Poppins, huh, TOF? Hmmmmm....don't remember that in Scripture....Earthquakes, famine, pestilence, etc...not hurricanes! ;)

    Welcome to TSG!
     
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