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Allard Beutel/Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-4769/3749)

September 23, 2005
RELEASE : 05-282
Three NASA Facilities Finalize Preparations for Hurricane Rita
NASA is making final preparations at three of its facilities which could be impacted by Hurricane Rita. One hundred workers at the Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans, where the space shuttle external tanks are processed, were evacuated to Pensacola, Fla., yesterday. An emergency ride-out crew remains on site to ensure the facility and the shuttle hardware are not badly damaged. Nets and blue tarps are being used to protect the shuttle fuel tanks.

NASA's other facility on the Gulf Coast, Stennis Space Center, Miss., is expecting high winds and considerable rainfall. During the past couple of days, Stennis workers have taken steps to protect valuable records and equipment from possible water damage. They've unplugged and covered computers and phones. A small crew will remain at the site through the storm.

At NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, security personnel have been patrolling and will continue to monitor the site which closed Wednesday. An initial damage report is not expected until Sunday afternoon.

Johnson will remain closed at least through Monday. Johnson employees are being asked to check a recorded message at either 281/483-3351 or 877/283-1947 for information on when the center will reopen. They also are urged to check in after the storm by calling 877/470-5240 by mid-day Monday.

NASA has a public Web site to convey important information for NASA employees and contractors impacted by Rita and Katrina at:

NASA will provide new information and images as they become available. For updates, visit:

For recorded updates about NASA operations and the conditions of the various facilities, call:


Members of the public who have general questions about NASA's Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts can call:


NASA also can take email inquiries from the public about general storm-related activities. Use "Rita" in the subject line, and send to:


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