Friday, February 8, 2013

Life's a Beach, Part II

Dune erosion at Launch Complex 39 on October 27. Image source:

On October 27, I posted before and after photos of the dune erosion behind Launch Complex 39 caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Apparently Fox News claims this didn't happen.

Florida Today reports that NASA is seeking funds from a Sandy relief bill to help restore damage at Kennedy Space Center and the Wallops Flight Facility.

As the ocean closes in on two historic launch pads, Kennedy Space Center officials have yet to hear how much they’ll see of the $15 million Congress just allocated for NASA as part of the $51 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill.

KSC hopes for at least $4 million to fix 1.2 miles of eroding dunes that stand between the Atlantic Ocean and the two former space shuttle launch pads — 39A and 39B.

Those pads hold the future of human spaceflight, but an ever-encroaching ocean imperils their future.

“If we have a tropical storm and we have our dune breached, there could be impacts to the pad,” said John Shaffer, a physical scientist at KSC. “If we don’t do something now, the infrastructure is going to be irreparably damaged.”

But Fox News claims this is a "scam."

Fox News, the New York Post and the blogosphere blasted the $4 million for NASA beach repairs that President Barack Obama included in his request to Congress for Hurricane Sandy relief. After all, the storm’s center passed far off Florida, they noted, some 220 miles off Cape Canaveral.

Last month, “Fox & Friends” aired a graphic titled “Sandy Scam,” listing the $4 million for KSC among six spending items.

The "Sandy Scam" graphic that appeared on Fox News. Image source:

The New York Post falsely claimed that the KSC request was part of "a huge Christmas stocking of goodies for federal agencies and even the state of Alaska" requested by President Obama, using Sandy as a ruse.

Media Matters for America labelled these accusations a "false attack."

Matt Drudge, Fox News, and The New York Post misrepresented the content of a bill to provide federal aid for the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in order to claim the bill is a "scam" that is "filled with holiday goodies unrelated to storm damage." In fact, less than 0.3 percent of the spending identified is unrelated to Sandy, and that spending is largely allocated to separate disasters.

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