Wednesday, August 31, 2005

NASA's Hurricanes

Last year, Hurricane Frances came through the southern Florida peninsula, damaging NASA facilities at the Cape, most notably the huge Vehicle Assembly Building. Looking at footage and pics from Discovery's Return to Flight, it looks like most of the damage hadn't been repaired yet.

More bad news though, both the Stennis Space Center, and the NASA External Tank Facility at Michoud (operated now by Lockheed Martin) were in the swath of Hurricane Katrina. The Michoud facility is about 10 miles east of downtown New Orleans. According to this article, the facility came through relatively unscathed, fortunately, and was even used as a shelter for NASA and Lockheed Martin employees. It also served as a staging area for local firefighters.

FEMA is using the Marshall Space Flight Center as a staging area now too, evidently, as the center is pretty close to the most heavily damaged areas in Alabama, but suffered no damage on their own.

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