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Kennedy Space Center prepares for hurricane

In preparation for the possibility of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival next week, the Kennedy Space Center is shutting down, including moving the giant mobile launcher vehicle, with the SLS launch tower on it, indoors to protect both.

The agency on Wednesday moved its hulking Apollo-era crawler-transporter out to Launch Complex 39B in order to bring the massive Mobile Launcher inside for the storm. That deployment must be made promptly because the crawler-transporter travels at just 1 mph (1.6 km/h).

The launch tower itself is 400 feet (122 meters) tall, which makes it a clear hazard in the high winds of a hurricane. NASA decided today (Aug. 29) that Dorian is threatening enough to merit moving the launch tower into Kennedy’s cavernous 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building for safety.

Their caution makes sense. Expect NASA to also announce that this two week delay in work will cause them several months more in delays to the SLS program. That has been their pattern over the years.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Diane Wilson

    The Vehicle Assembly Building was designed to withstand only a cat 3 hurricane. But any port in a storm….

    I’ve been through a cat 5 storm. My best wishes for everyone and everything to stay safe, alive, uninjured, and unbent through the storm.

  • David K

    My guess at this point is that the SLS flies just after Elon Musk sets foot on Mars, personally. Not as the first person on Mars mind you, maybe like the hundredth, and in 2050.

    That said I may be too optimistic, about SLS.

  • Cotour

    Bill Whittle, NASA nerd? Who knew?

    One point, and you high IQ space nerds please check me on this. If an asteroid was wrangled and the materials, iron, nickle etc. were to be mined and usable materials were to be manufactured in space to build a massive space station, those materials and their price or value would not have any effect on the prices of those materials / commodities that were produced on earth.

    The value of the assets in space would be what they would be in space and their value and wealth would be determined by a market both here on earth and space. But unless these materials are brought from space to the earth and the earth commodity market in massive quantities, and I do not know how that would realistically be done without them burning up in the atmosphere, then there would exist two seperate markets for these commodities.

    Q: What would be the method for bringing these very dense (Iron, nickle, titanium, aluminum (?) what ever) and heavy space commodoties down to earth in any quantites that would make a difference to the commodity markets for them here on earth?

    In my thinking the market price of these usable raw commodities here on earth would be seperate from those mined and processed and produced in space. The wealth and value would acrue in bank accounts here on earth, but the coomodoty markets and prices would remain seperate. (?)

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