ULA delays California launch because of Florida hurricane


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.
 

Because some of its employees needed for a California launch in next week live in Florida, ULA has decided to delay that launch so that those employees can focus on preparing for and recovering from Hurricane Irma in Florida.

What I find interesting about this story is that it reveals that ULA, unlike SpaceX, apparently does not have more than one launch team, even though their staffing has historically been much higher. This limits their ability to do frequent launches, as well as launches from both coasts.

Share
Readers!
 

Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
 

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
 

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
 

Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


 

Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

7 comments

  • Edward

    Having only one launch team makes it more impressive when they do two launches in quick succession, especially from both coasts. Usually, between launches, the crew would get some time of less stressful work.

    https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/second-atlas-5-launch-in-only-six-days/

  • Edward: Two launches in six days for ULA was good, but it is clear now that it pushed their launch team to the limit. SpaceX meanwhile has shown that it can launch twice in a weekend, from both coasts.

  • wayne

    Q:
    -How many people does it take, to launch an Atlas 5? (How many people does it take to launch a Falcon 9?) [there’s a joke in there, but it’s a real question.]
    -Has the Space Center ever been hit by a hurricane? What sort of wind-speed can the vehicle assembly building endure?

    – pivoting slightly, has anyone been to Fort Jefferson, at the Dry Tortugas National Park?
    (70 miles west of Key West.)

    Dry Tortugas National Park
    https://youtu.be/jGO9L260E2c
    3:00

  • Kirk

    Wayne: “pivoting slightly, has anyone been to Fort Jefferson, at the Dry Tortugas National Park?”

    I sailed there once, back in the the early ’90s. My Dad got a sailboat when he retired to Florida, and he used it primarily for summer cruising in the Bahamas (yes, summer, as in hurricane season, but also as in warm water season). We made a handful of winter trips, each of which usually wound up including several days of shivering during a cold snap on an unheated boat.

    One year we sailed to Key West where we picked up additional family members and then headed further west. The cold snap came and we weathered a winter storm anchored off the Marquesas Keys, part way out to the Tortugas. When we made it to the Tortugas, the water had been churned up by the storm and the visibility was too poor for diving. (Though we had gotten in some good diving earlier at Looe Key near Key West.)

    We enjoyed visiting Ft. Jefferson and learning of Dr. Samuel Mudd’s time there. In addition to the ferries (as mentioned in your video), a fair number of visitors came from Key West on float planes.

    I’ve not heard news of the Fort’s current physical shape, or if it is thought to be endangered by the storm.

    Have you been there, Wayne?

  • wayne

    Kirk–
    Very cool! Thanks for the Adventure!

    They have a website; ferry service is halted, Park is closed, everyone has left. My first thought was, holy cow! it’s going to be underwater. But, it’s been there for 200 years.
    (tangentially– the Hemmingway Museum people (& Cats) are sheltering in-place, that apparently survived the 1935 hurricane.)
    Have not been there myself, but I would like to do so. It’s on my List! lived in Tampa for 9 months in the early 80’s but only ever made it as far as Key West and have never driven on the new highway, it wasn’t finished at the time, and yowza, I did not like driving on old route 1.

    Florida Keys: Overseas Highway & 7 Mile Bridge Aerial
    https://youtu.be/KIgX33sFs0Q
    2:57

  • Kirk

    Wayne —

    Ft. Jefferson is the massive sort of structure which you wouldn’t expect to be easily washed away, but the forces of erosion are insidious. Fortunately, it appears that some restoration work has been done. Here is a 2013 article from Structure Magazine on “Rebuilding the Walls of Fort Jefferson”. http://www.structuremag.org/?p=259

    The primary issues they dealt with were settlement, loss of mortar, and damage by corrosion of embedded metals.

  • wayne

    Kirk-
    Thank you for that very informative article! There is some info on preservation efforts at their website as well:
    https://www.nps.gov/drto/learn/historyculture/fort-jefferson-preservation.htm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *