Eye roller: Climate Change Threatens NASA Space Operations – AGW 'could pose a risk to its operations and missions'

Apparently with the new Obama administration version of NASA, failure IS an option.

NASA_failure_IS_option_badgeOne of the biggest space disasters ever, the Challenger disaster, was caused by FREEZING COLD WEATHER and idiotic management that ignored risks related to cold weather as warned by engineers.

I have a pretty hard time believing that about a degree of warming is going to cause all these woes. That and the fact that NASA has had a nearly 9 year hurricane free window in Florida to not worry about launches.

From EcoWatch:

NASA programs are being put in jeopardy by the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels, high temperatures and humidity, wind, heat waves and extreme storms, which could impact such high-profile NASA sites as its Kennedy Space Center

NASA identifies a number of potential risks, including damaged infrastructure, power failures that threaten communications systems, delayed launches, employee health and safety concerns, contamination and even threats to endangered species. It says it could expect the loss of land essential to launch operations, experience extensive downtime when its systems are disrupted, and asks “Given the already degraded condition of much of NASA’s infrastructure portfolio, how will NASA find the money to conduct necessary adaptations, repair failing infrastructure, and maintain mission tempo?”
The report is one of two dozen released by the federal government Friday that address what steps various government agencies are taking to address climate change.

They need to remember what Dr. Richard Feynman said about NASA’s failure to embrace what is really important:

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. – Feynmans closing words, Appendix F – Personal Observations on Reliability of Shuttle

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92 thoughts on “Eye roller: Climate Change Threatens NASA Space Operations – AGW 'could pose a risk to its operations and missions'

  1. I pretty much spread have, but this puts the final nail in the coffin that is NASA….at least when it comes to this crap. Sure, weather had big impact on their operations but to pin all the potential. And known extremes that can affect them on this silly AGW notion is a joke. I am a meteorologist and our dept gas been forced to deal with this nonsense. I have no prob planning for all wx extreme possibilities, but by all accounts nothing is trending worse. The only thing they got is that rainfall may be slightly heavier the past 40yrz in the Midwest. BFD!!

    • Planning is the Key Issue here. We are more than capable of protecting Land from erosion and flooding. Levees work wonderfully when properly constructed and maintained. Newer style “Hardened Levees” would be more than sufficient to protect the Launch infrastructure even if Ocean levels rise more than 3M which, given current rate of sea level rise, 3mm/year would take almost 1000 years to reach this level, then the only issue is Storm Surge levels hitting at High Tide like TS Sandy in New York

  2. I suspect the “Power Failures” will be caused by Wind Turbines and Solar cells in the power grid — so the article is correct in that sense I guess.
    As for endangered species — I suspect one of them is “Thoughtful Humans”.

  3. “..even threats to endangered species.”
    Good Lord. Don’t they know that that tips us off to the political science that is writing this stuff? No engineer go near this press release. This type of kitchen sink alarmism has clearly been turning even non technical people off. What has this got to do with NASA space operations, never mind that there aren’t many real space operations being initiated these days. The longevity of those damn Mars Rovers are probably getting to be a pain to the new world order NASA.

  4. The Challenger disaster was caused by O-ring failure. They had a perfectly good O-ring originally but it had asbestos, and the supplier could not maintain his Workers Comp insurance unless asbestos was removed. It was removed and the Challenger blew up due to asbestos-free O-rings. Columbia disaster was caused by crappy weak foam resulting from Freon no longer allowed to be used as blowing agent due to “the ozone hole.” NASA management seems to be self-destructive, much better left to private industry. On that note, did the co-pilot of SpaceShipTwo actually intend suicide? Why is the pilot interview not being released? Why would anyone apply thrust reversers/descent brakes while accelerating UP?

    • SpaceShipTwo uses a novel reentry system of ‘feathering’ where it changes to a ‘shuttlecock’ shape. It basically bends in half and becomes really draggy. The question is “Why did that happen?”. To the best of my knowledge, nobody yet knows if it was pilot error, deliberate, a mechanical fault, a human factors problem (say, have the ‘feather’ leaver next to the engine cut off leaver…), or something else.
      What is clear is that is a very bad idea to reconfigure into high drag meant for near vacuume of space when in thick air going fast under thrust… I suspect an interlock to be installed and likely a stronger (and maybe even two step) feather locking structure. LIke the hood release on your car. Pull the release AND the leaver…

      • As I understand it, there already are two levers: one to unlock, and one to feather. They moved the unlock lever, but the feather lever was found in the unfeathered position in the wreck. So something apparently caused it to feather without being commanded to do so. Best guess seems to be that the aerodynamic forces overloaded the feathering mechanism somehow.

    • agreed about the idiocy of NASA – time to abolish the agency, just fold its space functions back into the USAF. NASA is no longer useful or needed, it’s just a place for a pile of political hacks to collect a paycheck.
      As far as the Virgin pilot, what I read from the reports is a combination of pilot error + mechanical failure. I understand that the “feathering” process was designed to be a two-stage process; first the pilot releases the brakes on the assembly, THEN he was supposed to actuate a mechanism to deploy the trailing surfaces (feathering assembly)
      The reports indicate that he did release the brake on the mechanism earlier than was called for, BUT that the mechanism then immediately began to deploy without being activated by the pilots. So that makes it a combination error, both pilot and mechanical. If the mechanism had been working properly, releasing the brake early would probably not have been a fatal error.

      • I agree about NASA. We need no more space probes, time to stop spaceflights, mission accomplished, shut her down.
        Use the $$$$$$$$$$$ for some more practical benefits, like tax reduction.

    • The Challenger O-ring issue was a LOT more complicated than that. NASA had been having problems with O-ring joint erosion for a long time with the modified joint design but was essentially ignoring it. Per the NASA report:
      As Commissioner Feynman observed, the decision making was: “a kind of Russian roulette. .
      [The Shuttle] flies [with O-ring erosion] and nothing happens. Then it is suggested, therefore, that the risk is no longer so high for the next flights. We can lower our standards a little bit because we got away with it last time…. You got away with it but it shouldn’t be done over and over again like that . ”
      http://history.nasa.gov/rogersrep/v1ch6.htm
      Then there is this:
      http://www.miaminewtimes.com/1990-08-22/news/bent-out-of-shape/
      http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/new-evidence-reveals-fire-on-doomed-challenger39s-1602/
      So take your pick of the real cause……

    • Indeed, they should be fired. I don’t think they’d take this kind of crap in the 60s. But this crap is probably coming from upper management who surely were once Woodstock hippies. I.e. the inmates are now running the asylum. We’re talking loose screws.

      • Ubiquitous and powerful hardware and software have enabled the illusion of competence to become much more common, easy to achieve and dangerous.

  5. Dismaying. It seems from recent events that NASA ought to worry more about QC and QA. It doesn’t much matter what the weather does if one’s rocket bursts on launch. When the history of this period is writ, we shall wonder how so many were fooled by so few. On the other hand, it is just one more adventure in superstition. There have been so many.

  6. Florida weather sucks. It always has, always will. Afternoon thunder showers every afternoon in the summer. Winter freezes killing orange crops. The most lightening strikes in the U.S. Then there are hurricaines. Don’t forget The Bermuda Triangle (*ahem*). What’s the problem with figuring out it is a good place to shoot off rockets due to its southern latitude?…but if you expect to have good weather for launches…forget it.
    Besides having worked for NASA for a a brief time back in the 1980s….first hand I know they are so overburdened with red tape…what do you expect? How many years will we study why bugs or plants grow weird in outer space?

  7. Yep, I said on a particular Safety Course at Oxford University that I could not understand why good engineers are hired (Challenger/Morton Thiocol) ) and then ignored. Not appreciated at all!

  8. Rising sea levels! How does that impact a NASA launch? It must be something to do with their budget.
    It’s good to know that there are a group of former NASA astronauts who are sceptical of CAGW. Some even landed on the Moon!

  9. These geniuses built Cape Kennedy below sea level and now they are worried about a 7″ to 10″ rise in sea level in 100 years!!

    • Rising seas?!
      A good dredge pumps 100,000+ cubic yards of material a day. When did the US run out of dredges?
      A large dump truck hauls 18 – 22 cubic yards per load. When did the US run out of dump trucks?
      NASA could raise the elevation of the Kennedy Space Center several feet in a few short weeks.
      A sea level rise of 7″/century is only a problem in countries run by idiots (and/or where the voters believe the idiots).

  10. It’s nice to see the idiots are now in charge of the asylum.
    Actually, NASA has gone the route of most government agencies. Once congress starts messing with budgets, the good managers and engineers bail out and get a job elsewhere,
    I believe it was called ‘The Entrepreneur’s Handbook’ (or something like that) that came out back in the ’70’s that stated: “First rate managers hire first rate people. Second rate managers hire third rate people.”

  11. If sea level rose 20 feet (overnight, presumably) then the NASA facilities in Florida would be underwater. It could happen! I’m building a computer program right now that shows how much of Florida would be underwater if the sea level rose 20 feet.

  12. A 2007 analysis of shuttle launch delays by the Associated Press found that the NASA spacecraft launched about 40 percent of the time. The AP analysis found that of the 118 shuttle flights that had flown at the time, 47 lifted off on time. More than half of the delays were caused by technical malfunctions, while foul weather made up about a third of the delays, the Associated Press reported then.
    http://www.space.com/6969-history-shuttle-launch-delays.html

    Was the foul weather a sunny, warm day? Tornadoes? Hurricanes? Frost?

  13. The only possible way to change the idiocracy at departments such as NASA and EPA is to change congress/administrations. I say “possible” since it is not 100% that the republicrats won’t continue down the road of stupidity even if they are in charge. Look how many of them supported the global warming scam! Vote today. Vote early and vote often, as they say in the democrat circles.

      • The problem is the way some districts keep “finding” boxes of votes, they probably will be voting Wednesday and Thursday and Friday and….

  14. How the mighty have fallen. Reduced now to blaming “climate” for their failures, and using “climate” as an excuse for needing more money.

  15. The real dangers to NASA are the placement of political cronies into administrative positions, and the ebb tide of funding from Congress.

  16. Climate Changes (tick) TRUE
    Climate Change is caused by AGW (tick) UNTRUE.
    The once trustworthy (august?) CSIRO has all but ceased to publish papers and information of value, instead it is littered with appalling AGW nonsense..
    Wikipedia trumps it these days, sad, sad, sad.

    • How many papers of value never see the light of day? All have to be vetted by the hierarchy before public distribution. I didn’t think science needed a censor.

    • once we thought it was trustworthy because we had no way to find out what they said and were up to apart from govvy press releases..now
      part private funding and the net and foi, etc
      Id suspect quite a LOT of what we took as truth was also bullshit back then.
      same as CSL, now privatised. neither commonwealth OR health!

      • Hmmm… Shouldn’t this start with Conceive the project and end with Implement the project? The graphic above shows a circle with no end or beginning. Does that mean I can start anywhere? Maybe they need a rocket scientist to show them how to draw a flowchart?

  17. …One of the biggest space disasters ever, the Challenger disaster, was caused by FREEZING COLD WEATHER..
    Didn’t you know? Global Warming causes freezing cold weather. It can also reach out to spacecraft on an Earth-Moon trajectory and blow up their oxygen tanks, and I’m pretty sure it was responsible for the incorrect calculation of the focal point if the Hubble Space Telescope…

  18. How would a little warmer weather effect NASA’s primary mission as dictated by the President of Muslim outreach?

  19. The true irony of the NASA statements is that both Shuttle failures can be traced to cold weather. Both were late January launches. Challenger was done in by the freezing outside temperature coupled with the cold air flowing down the external fuel tank. The Columbia breakup is related to a late January launch following cold and rainy weather that lead to ice chunks coming off the external fuel tanks and breaking the ceramic leading edge of the wing. The sensitivity of the shuttle configuration to cold makes understandable the Russians reluctance to man their own shuttle copy (Burian) when they launched it in Nov. of 1988.

    • “What is the average IQ of NASA employees”
      I’ve met a few for a recent project.
      My takeaway; Individually brilliant, collectively stupid. (BTW, they know it too)

  20. It’s lucky NASA was not around in the days of Columbus, they would never have put out to sea.
    ” ooh those waves look rough”

  21. It’s an irony that NASA’s launches affect our climate more than our climate affects NASA’s launches.

  22. The Vehicle Assembly Building is a piece of junk anyway, it’s built on a swamp that won’t support the weight of a CAT D7, let alone a 3 million kg Saturn Booster

  23. I thought the threat to NASA space operations was the decline in engineering competence exasperated by their strategic shift to focus on non-science such as climate change alarmism and Muslim outreach.

  24. (Fill in Appropriate Threatened Entity) programs are being put in jeopardy by the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels, high temperatures and humidity, wind, heat waves and extreme storms, which could impact such high-profile (Fill in Appropriate Threatened Entity) sites as its (Fill in Appropriate Threatened Entity).
    There. Climate Form-Article. Now let’s reduce costs a bit more, shall we?

  25. This is not NASA’s fault, per se. It is the idiot POTUS and his band of ecozealot-fascists in the White House that is causing this idiocy at NASA.

  26. Gotta not let disasters go to waste, the public attention span is fleeting. Two space-related failures in the past few days – quick, someone relate them to climate change!

  27. Does NASA even do space anymore? Okay, that is a bit extreme, but I am personally totally confused why we didn’t just push on to mars aggressively. And seriously, if a few degrees of warming can hinder space operations considering the extremes experienced when working in space, I can’t imagine we will be very successful anyway. A trip to mars for instance will need us to overcome variables much more extreme then the most extreme alarmist can muster for earth itself. So if NASA thinks will be such an impediment maybe we should just shut them down and save the money, or maybe think about who we have hired and who else might be able to do better.

    • I would like to see humans on Mars before I die but it seems likely to be the Chinese who will achieve that distinction. Perhaps NASA facilities could be sold to them to speed their ambitions since the US no longer seems to have any heart for such an undertaking.
      I still remember clearly , as a youngster , staying up all night (Europe time) to watch the first moon landing as it happened . I thought then that it was the beginning of a Great Adventure , not realising that what I was witnessing was actually the end of one.

  28. ““Given the already degraded condition of much of NASA’s infrastructure portfolio, how will NASA find the money to conduct necessary adaptations, repair failing infrastructure, and maintain mission tempo?””
    So the people who apparently were in charge while NASA’s “infrastructure portfolio degraded” are to be considered credible evaluators of any potential risks from climate change?
    I am curious what percentage of their budget has been going to climate research verses infrastructure maintenance and upgrading.

  29. “”Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions.”” http://ecowatch.com/board-directors/
    I see, said the blind girl: You’ve got to got where the money is! “It is the nature of our adversarial legal system”!

  30. What’s such an incredible shame is that Frank Bolden is a former astronaut. And yet, having been appointed by Prez Obama, he toes the Administration’s line when it comes to NASA’s purpose, goals, and how it deals with science–like, climate science.

    • Bolden’s name is Charles. On the subject of Mars, half-serious thought is being given to the idea of a manned, one-way flight. The cost of return is staggeringly high.

  31. “even threats to endangered species” ??? Their rockets run on environmentally catastrophic and poisonous chemicals and fuels. Every launch spews out literally tonnes of poisonous fumes and residuals. And they worry that climate change COULD have threats to endangered species. Crazy stuff.

  32. This is so sad. NASA has been on a decline for awhile now. Gone are the heady days of the the first man in space, the Appollo missions, first step on the moon, etc, now we have political gibberish; Muslim outreach, climate propaganda, lack of imagination and meaningful public aspirations. It is a shell of what it was, a stalled if not regressing space program.

  33. Feyman?….ptuh!..
    He ain’t no climate scientist…….I guess I should say I’m being sarcastic lest I be misunderstood.
    On a genuinely serious note I find it sobering to visualise a comparison of the manner of the great man next to say that of Schmidt/Mann.
    My sense is he would be deeply embarrassed.

  34. To Jimbo:
    You quoted the AP report, and then added:
    “Was the foul weather a sunny, warm day? Tornadoes? Hurricanes? Frost?”
    It need not even have been weather at the cape. I worked
    launch support from 1988-1991, including for a number of shuttle missions.
    The bird didn’t fly if the TAL sites (typically in Africa) had even broken
    clouds; it was one of the criteria for launch.
    TAL is Trans-Atlantic Abort. It’s the second of the possible abort options,
    after RTLS (Return to Launch Site) abort profiles have been exceeded. When
    the bird has gotten high enough and fast enough, all engines can fail and
    she still can do a suborbital trajectory across the Atlantic and reach whichever
    TAL site was designated for that mission. This happens not long after she drops
    the SRBs–roughly 2 and 1/2 minutes. But, remember that the shuttle, on landing,
    is coming in “dead stick”–it’s a glider, they have just one chance to land, and
    they need sufficently clear weather and a clear runway at Banjul or Dakar or Rota
    or Kano or wherever is designated. (Most of the missions I worked launch support
    for, the TAL sites were in Africa. For some missions, TAL sites were in Europe.)
    In fact, I remember hearing an argument over the communications loop between
    the meteorologist at the TAL site and the flight director about the state of the clouds
    at Dakar, with the meteorologist stating that what he was seeing was broken
    clouds (no launch) while the flight director was saying that to him, over the TV,
    it looked like scattered clouds (launch). I don’t recall which mission that was.

  35. Well judging by their latest failure, they can strike GW off the Threat Risk List. If they re-appropriated the space exploration funding from the GW funding these frequency of failures will likely reduce.

  36. Oh, I second NASA’s concerns entirely. I have personal experience in how climate change will threaten our space program. I mean, just the other week I was on my way to Mars. You would not believe how crappy the weather was. Whew! Whiteout conditions. Crosswinds. And you’re stuck traveling through that crap for maybe a year or more. That global warming, I’ll tell ya’, its got one heckuva long reach.

  37. I think its fairly obvious what happened – they were approached by the president and asked how their operations might be affected by climate change. Instead of either responding “nothing” or “what climate change?” the management of NASA fell in line with the current group-think. The wrong stuff indeed!

  38. “Given the already degraded condition of much of NASA’s infrastructure portfolio, how will NASA find the money to conduct necessary adaptations, repair failing infrastructure, and maintain mission tempo?”
    the words Already Degraded…..like having a rusty roof and then it rains hey?

  39. Any excuse will do, other than the fact that NASA has allowed itself to blunder about for decades and now we have people in space and no home-grown way to retrieve them. Apparently we have no domestic means to send them food or anything else, too.
    And the labor unions, environmentalists and regular taxpayers complain when a private company “outsources” something.

  40. NASA devotes a lot of their budget to garbage science. Under Obama they gave become a propaganda website. They do need to be shut down and their budget reassigned to a new solar system exploration agency. The earth observation satellites should be run by a new National Ocean, Atmosphere and near space agency (NOANSA). Space telescopes should go to the NSF.

  41. NASA – Not allowed to use Actual Satellite data in climate Announcements.
    Fernando Leanme – either your suggestion or a new catch-all Obama agency, maybe the ONCPCA, Obama’s no-credibility politically correct agency. It’s very sad.

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