September 2, 2004
NASA Prepares for Hurricane Frances
NASA is taking the threat from Hurricane Frances seriously. The powerful storm is moving toward Florida's east coast and could affect NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) this weekend.
As of today, KSC is closed, and its nearly 14,000 workers have been sent home to make preparations with their families. The center is tentatively scheduled to reopen Tuesday.
KSC workers spent the past several days taking steps to protect the Space Shuttle fleet, spacecraft hardware, and facilities against damage. Most major KSC systems have been powered down, sandbags have been laid around building doors and heavy equipment moved into the massive Vehicle Assembly Building. Hardware has been covered with plastic or tarps and smaller pieces of equipment have been raised off the ground.
All three Space Shuttles have been secured in their Orbiter Processing Facilities. Shuttles' systems are powered down, their landing gear stowed and payload bay doors closed. Spaceflight hardware has been lifted off floors and protected. International Space Station (ISS) components, housed at KSC while they are prepared for flight, have been secured.
"KSC houses some of the jewels of America's space flight program," said Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Readdy. "We've taken every precaution to secure our spacecraft and facilities and to keep our workers safe. In 40 years of space flight operations at Cape Canaveral, we've never sustained a direct hit from a hurricane, but we've always been prepared," he said.
Over the Labor Day weekend, NASA will release information about conditions at KSC as it becomes available. Updates will be available via recorded message at 202/358-1600 and posted on the Web at:
Video b-roll of KSC hurricane preparations and related soundbites are airing on the NASA TV Video File. Video of Hurricane Frances taken from the ISS is also airing on NASA TV. NASA will release additional footage of Frances and KSC as available.
Still images of the storm, taken by Astronaut Mike Fincke from the ISS and from NASA's Terra satellite, are available on the Web at:
NASA TV is available on the Web and via satellite in the continental U.S. on AMC-6, Transponder 9C, C-Band, located at 72 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz. In Alaska and Hawaii, NASA TV is available on AMC-7, Transponder 18C, C-Band, located at 137 degrees west longitude. Frequency is 4060.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz.
For information about NASA on the Internet, visit:
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