Wed. Feb 26th, 2020

Weather experts are confronting an age-old problem as they prepare for the return of astronaut launches from Cape Canaveral — lightning.A tour of the Cape’s weather office shows how Air Force forecasters are working to keep astronauts safe.In the weather center at Cape Canaveral, there’s one thing forecasters never forget.”We’re just on the southern edge of the lightning capital of America,” said launch weather Officer Mike McAleenan.Lightning has been plaguing the rocket business for a long time. In 1969, the Apollo 12 Saturn 5 was struck on the way up when its exhaust trail acted like a giant lightning rod.”It was like we had our own ground wire,” said Apollo 12 Commander Pete Conrad.In the weather center, they’re advancing the science of forecasting lightning, getting better and better at measuring the temperature and electrical charge in the clouds.As they develop procedures for upcoming astronaut launches, they’re keeping in mind the possibility that good old-fashioned eyeballs may be one of the best instruments they have. They may continue the practice of designating one person not to watch instruments, but to watch the rocket itself.The better they get at forecasting, the closer the Cape gets to its goal of having a launch per week.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. —

Weather experts are confronting an age-old problem as they prepare for the return of astronaut launches from Cape Canaveral — lightning.

A tour of the Cape’s weather office shows how Air Force forecasters are working to keep astronauts safe.

In the weather center at Cape Canaveral, there’s one thing forecasters never forget.

“We’re just on the southern edge of the lightning capital of America,” said launch weather Officer Mike McAleenan.

Lightning has been plaguing the rocket business for a long time. In 1969, the Apollo 12 Saturn 5 was struck on the way up when its exhaust trail acted like a giant lightning rod.

“It was like we had our own ground wire,” said Apollo 12 Commander Pete Conrad.

In the weather center, they’re advancing the science of forecasting lightning, getting better and better at measuring the temperature and electrical charge in the clouds.

As they develop procedures for upcoming astronaut launches, they’re keeping in mind the possibility that good old-fashioned eyeballs may be one of the best instruments they have. They may continue the practice of designating one person not to watch instruments, but to watch the rocket itself.

The better they g

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.