More on KSC and Frances

NASA Headquarters has announced that KSC is taking extraordinary measures to protect the Shuttle fleet inside the VAB:

At KSC, workers are powering down the Space Shuttle orbiters, closing their payload bay doors and stowing their landing gear. They are also taking precautions against flooding by moving spacecraft hardware off the ground and sandbagging facilities. NASA plans to release video of these activities beginning tomorrow.

[Emphasis mine.]

I think that showing video of these efforts is pretty cool. Hopefully it will be on the Web in some way, shape, or form; not every community is as cool as Huntsville and has NASA TV on basic cable. NASA also has a page set aside for stills and video from ISS of Frances. I love this Mission to Planet Earth stuff.

[Hat tip to the always wonderful NASA Watch, which seems to have undergone a technical revolution in the last week or so. Permalinks to NW coverage? An RDF feed? About time! Way to go, Keith!]


  1. Why are they just tying down the shuttle fleet? Can’t they get those shuttles out of there? They have the technology… they move them across the country after they land. Or do they not want to incur the expense of moving them? The shuttles are too valuable for us to risk them being damaged in a storm of this magnitude.

  2. 1. Best as I remember, there’s only one aircraft capable of ferrying orbiters, and chances are that it’s not outfitted to fly on six hours’ notice or something like that.

    2. The birds have been in the VAB for some time getting ready to be launched. They haven’t put the stack together, but they’ve been working integration for some time now. It’d be a lot of work to put them down to the horizontal and move ’em.

    3. This is probably a 500-year event for NASA, and they haven’t had the need to have a contingency for this because the risk is so low. The lesson of STS is that you can’t spend everything you’d like to make these birds 100% safe, because in spaceflight, there is no 100% safe.

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