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Internet Policies

NASA Turns Things Off at KSC

By Keith Cowing
August 29, 2006

Editor’s note: NASA has turned off all of its KSC webcams again. This is odd since you’d think that people would like to see damaage (or lack thereof) happens – in real time. Webservers and webcams normally run fine with little adjustment – so why not just leave them running?. Of course NASA could also look into installing some remote satellite webcams too. Again, they are not that difficult to set up and cost perhaps less than $10K per camera. Not much to spend when billions of dollars of assets are involved.

Indeed, these two webcams [1, 2] operate autonomously on Devon Island less than 800 miles from the north pole – and conditions there can get rather nasty – for months at a time. Its odd that NASA hasn’t set anything like this up. It sure ain’t rocket science.

What is even stranger is the fact that KSC’s website has been shut down too. Now this is odd. Indeed, it is just plain dumb as well as unimaginative. I guess the notion of offsite hosting or mirror sites (on webservers outside of Florida) has never occurred to anyone at KSC. There are people at NASA who could keep an eye on things for a few days. So much for being able to post updates that KSC people who still have power – or have cellphones – can read. I have to wonder sometimes if NASA hires IT personnel who have ever worked in the real world. You’d think after all of these hurricanes someone might have learned a few lessons.

Editor’s 30 Aug 9:00 am EDT note: KSC’s website is (apparently) operational again – but the webcams are not.

Reader note: “Regarding webcams being turned off… My daughter is a senior at Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) down the road in Melbourne. Their webcam is running as normal. Maybe KSC needs some FIT students to show them how to do it?”

Editor’s note: Some Cocoa Beach area webcams (still online) which apparently use more advanced technology than NASA has:

  • Cocoa Beach Wecam, (free streaming image times out after 30 sec), Surfline
  • Webcam (Cape Canaveral), Two Palms
  • Cocoa Beach, MMD Factory
  • Cape Canaveral webcam, WESH TV
  • NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.