back to article Killer Hurricane Matthew threatens to wreck Kennedy Space Center

Hurricane Matthew, the category four storm that has already claimed more than 100 lives in the Caribbean, is bearing down on the coast of Florida – and NASA's Kennedy Space Center looks likely to take an absolute hammering. President Obama has declared a state of emergency in Florida, and the state's governor Rick Scott has …

Anonymous Coward

This commander-in-chief is boss

President Obama has declared a state of emergency in Florida

This will show the Hurricane!

I suppose Hillary will be on the mic soon moaning about hoarders and gougers as she did back when New Orleans went under...

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Re: This commander-in-chief is boss

That frees up federal money to help folks rebuild/ I bet you knew that as you were on your way to bash Obama and Hillary.

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Re: This commander-in-chief is boss

But that's federal money and no free folk want that. They'll use it to put you in a FEMA camp and thats the last anyone will ever see of you. I should know; we were in FEMA's febrile grasp after hurricane Katrina and now I don't even exist except for a few moments when they aren't watching and I can wave my hanky at passers-by. Anyway, that's not a hurricane. Only when Trump is elected will there be the most fabulous and best hurricanes anyone ever saw, and Mexico is going to pay for them.

But on a more serious note, I really hope noone else dies in this storm. I get really bad heebie jeebies watching these things on TV after what we went through and all the friends who died.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This commander-in-chief is boss

While loss of life and limb is a terrible thing no matter where it happens it's hard to feel much sympathy for the "richest country in the world" when I see what's happened in Haiti.

There won't be any state aid there because the state hasn't got any money.

The BBC gives a death toll as if it's an accurate figure but a lot of villages there haven't got any electricity and there's no-one going round counting the numbers, they're all more concerned with doing what little they can to help.

Sorry to go on, having been there not so long ago it's difficult not to say anything.......

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Facepalm

Tent!

They are building a "tent"!!! as extra protection. I hope the tent is made from steel plate as bog standard canvas is going to be as much use as a chocolate teapot :-(

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Re: Tent!

bog standard canvas

As opposed to impermeable plastic sheeting? It won't do much for falling bits of roof, but some well-deployed plastic sheets will keep the water out. If you're really clever - perhaps even a rocket scientist - you can toss a dehumidifier or desiccant packs in the tent with the satellite.

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Re: Tent!

Think leaking roofs, blown in windows, water and muck flying about... Cows (or alligators) twirling up into the sky rather grab one's attention, but a lot of storm damage is more mundane

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HurriCon One?

That's a bit cute for my taste.

One other area of concern--all the old launch vehicles and capsules that are outdoors. I've been to the Cape (you should go too) and all the old 50s and early 60s exhibits are outdoors and most of the rockets are standing straight up 50-150 feet into the air. I'm not sure that all those Mercury/Gemini and pre-Mercury launch vehicles are going to avoid getting knocked over. If they do, I hope they do not damage the Gemini and Mercury capsules and the Apollo command module mockup that are displayed at ground level.

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Re: HurriCon One?

I could be mistaken, but I don't think this is the first hurricane to hit Cape Canaveral.

Which is not to say that they'll be prepared, but at least they have some experience.

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Re: HurriCon One?

I could be mistaken, but I don't think this is the first hurricane to hit Cape Canaveral.

Correct, but it's on the short list for worst to hit the Cape. And the thing is making a U-turn next week.

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Re: HurriCon One?

"HurriCon One?

That's a bit cute for my taste."

But actually pretty standard US Government shorthand where you also have terms like DefCon (Defense Condition, specifying the risk of an attack on an installation). A similar term is TropCon (Tropical Storm Condition) which tends to be used more often in the Pacific where the storms are known as either Typhoons or Cyclones. Anyway, the scale starts at 4 or 5 (All Clear) and lowers as it gets worse. As noted in the article, HurriCon/TropCon 1 is the most severe (Storm Landfall Imminent).

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Re: HurriCon One?

The Space Shuttle exhibit building will probably be fine. There is an actual shuttle external fuel tank and SRBs standing outside the building, towering over everything. It looked pretty securely anchored, but that is one very large wind sail, and the wind is coming in at maybe 200 Kmph.

The big Apollo display out by the launch pads is fairly solid and low-slung, but the building is about 40 years old and there is a huge (think actual Saturn V sitting on its side length, because thats what it protects) first floor glass window that faces kind of southward/perhaps out to sea. If that blows in there might be some damage to some pretty cool Apollo program gear.

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Re: HurriCon One?

"But actually pretty standard US Government shorthand where you also have terms like DefCon (Defense Condition, specifying the risk of an attack on an installation). A similar term is TropCon"

Shorthand and jargon works fine inside of an organisation where everyone is using it. But in press releases or other public consumption methods, jargon should be avoided at all cost. No matter how cool or cute it sounds.

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Re: HurriCon One?

Even if the reading public know enough about the lingo to get it?

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Coat

Re: HurriCon One?

200 Kmph

Now that's fast.

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Kind of ironic

That the hurricane is threatening to destroy a weather satellite

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The building was designed to deal with bad things.

To be fair, the Launch Control Center's structure wasn't primarily designed to deal with hurricanes although it was a well considered secondary criteria. It was designed to deal with a rocket doing bad things. When the Saturn V was driven by the building, the main fuel tanks were empty yet there still were a tons of other interesting chemicals such as hydrazine already loaded in some tanks and most of the "empty" tanks were filled with pressurized helium or dry air.

Hopefully Matthew won't mirror what Andrew did which seemed to be most destructive near the Homestead Air Reserve Base (where the Hurricane Hunters flew out of) and the National Hurricane Center. It was almost like it had a grudge against storm research.

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Joke

Re: The building was designed to deal with bad things.

It was almost like it had a grudge against storm research.

Maybe it did.

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Re: The building was designed to deal with bad things.

Perhaps, but an exploding rocket is a momentary event: the shock wave hits and it's over. What makes a hurricane/typhoon/cyclone so deadly is that it's a sustained event: once it builds up the blast keeps going for minutes, even hours. You know what they say about persistence: do it over and over again and something can happen eventually. That's why the concern. They don't know how long the buildings can withstand a sustained 140mph blast since historical information only allowed them to plan up to a 130mph blast. Sorta like how the Japanese reactors couldn't be built with 9.0-magnitude earthquakes in mind since no one really knew what one was like; none had hit in modern history.

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Re: The building was designed to deal with bad things.

probably not happy about the weather sats spying on it all the time, can't a hurricane have a little privacy, eh?

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" ... dedicated hurricane ride-out team ... "

I'd love to read their job description... but seriously, good luck, guys!

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Day After Tomorrow?

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Trollface

"Day After Tomorrow?"

That'll be Saturday then.

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Thank God it weakened before you could blame it on global warming.

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Anonymous Coward

Tell Trump to shut his mouth

TOO MUCH WIND!

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FYI, Matthew's eyewall did cross Cape Canaveral

I think that CNN said the cape recorded 107 mph sustained winds, but I was getting ready for work and might have heard that incorrectly.

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Damage Summary with Photos

Looks like the damage was minor. Some outbuildings suffered roof damage, and there was a little damage in the rocket garden.

Photographic damage summary

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