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SCI/TECH: Vehicle Assembly Building and Frances

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posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 03:31 PM
One of my biggest fears is coming into play with Hurricane Frances. NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building, though built to withtand a hurricane, has never been tested by the brute forces that Frances may bring.

The building, one of the largest in the world, was designed and built only to withstand up to 125 mile per hour winds. Currently, Hurricane Frances has been steady at 145 mile per hour winds, with gusts even higher. And where is Frances headed towards? Kennedy Space Center.

The building, which has served the nation's space program for decades, is truely a national treasure, and its destruction would be horrible.
Frances Overview

Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph

Hurricane Warning issued from Florida City to Flagler Beach, FL

Current most likely impact point: central or southern Florida east coast

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Related News Links:

[edit on 9/2/2004 by cmdrkeenkid]

[edit on 9/2/2004 by cmdrkeenkid]

[edit on 9/2/2004 by cmdrkeenkid]

[edit on 9-2-2004 by Valhall]

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 03:39 PM
I agree. Any additional setbacks that NASA runs into as they try to get the shuttles back in service would be catastrophic. You have to hope that the storm takes a strange turn like Charley did and avoids them or only hits them peripherally.

Of course, those that believe we steer hurricanes with scalar weapons will likely theorize that this is an effort on the part of 'W' to destroy the space program so he can be the one to rebuild it to the joy and admiration of all American sheeple!

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 03:40 PM
Thank you for reporting on this CKK. This has such tragic potential. The ground track right now has this beast coming ashore right at KSC. As you have so aptly stated, the VAB cannot withstand this. It is nothing but a 30+ story hangar - no real internal structure.

I fear that this could be a hit to manned space flight that the U.S. might not be able to recover from in even a remotely visible future...not with the world as it is now and with such financial demands coming from so many directions.

And, yes, the VAB, just as the MCC at JSC, is considered a National Treasure.

I do not want any one to think I have placing any material thing before human life. I have already been praying for the people in the path of this monstrous storm and will continue to do so. But this is also heartbreaking to those of us who have a love for the scientific challenge and accomplishments that NASA's facilities represent.

I am scared

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 04:41 PM
Sorry to point this out but your MPH was wrong. It is 145 knots which is equal to 167 mph. Not good news at all. My prayers are with all in the path. I had to work through hurricane Claudette last year. While only a catagory 1 (supposed to be catagory 2; 114mph winds at my door step) it was not fun.

God speed.

Knots = 5.8 MPH

10 Knots = 11.5 MPH

15 Knots = 17.3 MPH

20 Knots = 23.0 MPH

25 Knots = 28.8 MPH

30 Knots = 34.6 MPH

35 Knots = 40.3 MPH

40 Knots = 46.1 MPH

45 Knots = 51.8 MPH

50 Knots = 57.6 MPH

55 Knots = 63.4 MPH

60 Knots = 69.1 MPH

65 Knots = 74.9 MPH

70 Knots = 80.6 MPH

75 Knots = 86.4 MPH

80 Knots = 92.2 MPH

85 Knots = 97.9 MPH

90 Knots = 103.7 MPH

95 Knots = 109.4 MPH

100 Knots = 115.2 MPH

105 Knots = 121.0 MPH

110 Knots = 126.7 MPH

115 Knots = 132.5 MPH

120 Knots = 138.2 MPH

125 Knots = 144.0 MPH

130 Knots = 149.8 MPH

135 Knots = 155.5 MPH

140 Knots = 161.3 MPH

145 Knots = 167.0 MPH

150 Knots = 172.8 MPH

Beaufort Wind Scale Windspeed in MPH

Description - Visible Condition

Calm smoke rises vertically

1 - 4
Light air direction of wind shown by smoke but not by wind vanes

4 - 7
Light breeze wind felt on face; leaves rustle; ordinary wind vane moved by wind

8 - 12
Gentle breeze leaves and small twigs in constant motion; wind extends light flag

13 - 18
Moderate breeze raises dust and loose paper; small branches are moved

19 - 24
Fresh breeze small trees in leaf begin to sway; crested wavelets form on inland water

25 - 31
Strong breeze large branches in motion; telephone wires whistle; umbrellas used with difficulty

32 - 38
Moderate gale whole trees in motion; inconvenience in walking against wind

39 - 46
Fresh gale breaks twigs off trees; generally impedes progress

47 - 54
Strong gale slight structural damage occurs; chimney pots and slates removed

55 - 63
Whole gale trees uprooted; considerable structural damage occurs

64 - 72
Storm very rarely experienced; accompanied by widespread damage

Hurricane devastation occurs

[edit on 2-9-2004 by nwscc]

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 06:07 PM
Here is another article:

It states the hanger where the three shuttles are stored has a roof that should stand up to 110mph winds and the launch pad that wraps around the shuttle can withstand winds of 125mph.

I wonder why they just cant ship the three shuttles to a different location using 747's like they do when they bring them back from the west coast? Can they still do that? I remember seeing the shuttle ride piggy back on 747's a few times when it came into Hobby airport in the late 80's.

[edit on 2-9-2004 by TexasConspiracyNut]

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 06:21 PM

They only have one 747 rigged to do this. That would be one shuttle, and they don't even have to time to do that. Moving the shuttle in to a position to piggyback to their 747 takes quite some time.

They've just got hope something deflects this thing.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 06:31 PM
If this storm does hit the space center and does massive damage, could this be the final nail in the coffin of the Space Shuttle program?

I was just watching the news and they are saying things like: "Largest hurricane to hit the U.S.A. in over 40 years... record after record that will fall to this one if it follows its now projected path... I was sitting and watching in awe.. "This could be one of the worst ever" Much Larger than Andrew".... damn!

Well this is one time I hope its all just media hype.. because the way they're talking it seems really REALLY bad... 2.7 MILLION people being evacuated so far... my god!

I think saving the shuttles now is far down on the list...imo

[edit on 2-9-2004 by UM_Gazz]

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 06:34 PM

Saving the shuttles is out of the question. The shuttles just have to make it or not. There is no time (and no staff) left to do anything but pray there is still an intact VAB when they return.

I wish we had word out of San Salvador and other Bahaman islands right now. The eye passed over San Salvador probably 3 hours ago...bless their hearts.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 06:42 PM
Heres some local postings

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 06:54 PM
KSC Prepare for worst:

With a strong Hurricane Frances swirling towards the Florida coast, NASA's Kennedy Space Center is taking precautions in advance of landfall.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

They don't go into any detail as to stabalizing the building.

[edit on 2-9-2004 by TrickmastertricK]

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 07:21 PM
Well if they can't move the shuttles and the space station parts and the storm hits there it will set us back a few more years at the very least. The roof will get blown away and the shuttles will at least suffer some damage.

Why would they make a hanger on the coast that only is good for up to 110-125 mph winds that holds everything that makes up the space program that involves billions of tax dollars?

Oh well, the most important thing now is to get the word out to the people that this storm is a woolybuger and that they need to get out of Dodge. This isn't a storm to ride out. The ground is already soaked from the other two storms and all those downed trees are going to be flying all over the place. I think as far as property this will be the worst one ever. As far as loss of life, I don't feel it will be anywhere like the 1900 Galveston storm because they didn't see it coming. It will be bad though. People will die.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 07:23 PM

I think you've hit on something important. The debris from Charley, which is still laying stown about and free makes this ever so much more worse.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 07:37 PM
Eh, if NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building goes down, it will be NASA's own damn fault. NASA is always supposed to have the cutting edge in technology, a new Vehicle Assembly Building should have been built decades ago to withstand a really powerful hurricane - its not like they didn't know something like this was going to happen, it was only a question of when.

You know, with the massive budget that NASA has, you'd think they would have focused some effort on the most important part of any operation - the base. A Vehicle Assembly Building with a cylindrical structure and a half-sphere roof makes the most sense in an area such as Florida. Even a giant geodesic dome makes more sense (it would look quite interesting, and could hold up to really high wind speeds). Who builds a damn box in the middle of an area that is hit by frequent hurricanes? Its like a house of cards waiting to fall over by a small gust of wind.

A box might be the most efficent use of space... but it still doesn't make for a good wind bearing structure.

If it goes down, it goes down. Maybe they'll plan ahead next time (you'd think they would do that now, we're talking about NASA - I forgot though, they're allowed to make mistakes because they're human, right? ).

Hopefully they won't build it using metrics, then we'll have a huge problem on our hands!

[edit on 9-2-2004 by EmbryonicEssence]

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 07:53 PM

All good points, with the exception that you forgot to point out the thing has lasted around 30's mostly paid out. I'm assuming the next one will cost 100 times more and be a more "proper" hurricane structure, and probably last about 30 years.

[edit on 9-2-2004 by Valhall]

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 08:07 PM
Thats very true Valhall. But, why not build it right the first time?

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 08:10 PM
It going to take a direct hit, its gone. Very good point Val.

I am always amazed how these things hit land, all the water and it hits Florida. This will the first time in almost 50 years that Floirda has been hit like this.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 08:12 PM
Their website has been down since before 11:00 Central time today. As some one else pointed out, I'm assuming that's because every one was pulled out and they just took the servers down.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 08:56 PM
Ever since visiting The Cape Canaveral JFK NASA Center, I've always wondered the same exact thing. They had a tornado the one time I was there, luckily not during the launch I witnessed. It's a very volatile area, there's always storms popping up and such. It sticks out in the ocean in a marshy, and very exposed area. I hope it all works out well. I remember hearing about some of the preventative measures they have against storms, but I can't recall all of it. But hey, if they can do all of the amazing things involved with space that they've done before, I figure they can handle it.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 10:14 PM
You are all very right and the VAB is also very old and brittle. But the good news is that the latest northern most projected landfall is at Melbourne Beach and that is about 65 miles south of the VAB.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 10:23 PM
I remember hearing about the danger to this building or buildings during another major hurricane that fortunately missed. I was wondering if there was a way to beef up the building structure or a way to more quickly relocate shuttles. I guess no one thought about relocating shuttles during late August through mid Sept even though Sept is peak hurricane season. I can imagine lots of critism if anything happens.

I also remember seeing a tornado funnel form in the distance while on a tour bus at Cape Kennedy. It's a bit disturbing to see a tornado form and you are stuck on a tour bus getting a tour while a tornado is swooping down from the sky a little distance away. I seemed to be the only one watching the tornado too! Everybody else was looking at the buildings.
Anyone got a graphic showing where Cape Kennedy is and the projected hurricane path? Maybe the eye and most destructive winds will miss again. Thirty years of misses makes NASA complacent I guess. I hope the buildings and shuttles don't get damaged too much.

Added later: I missed the previous post. Sounds like great news. I'm glad to hear that NASA and the US space program will get lucky again. Too bad they aren't lucky all the time.

[edit on 2-9-2004 by orionthehunter]

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