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NASA evacuates Johnson Space Center

 
Anonymous Coward
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09/21/2005 09:43 PM
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NASA evacuates Johnson Space Center
NASA officials ordered the evacuation the Johnson Space Center near Houston, Texas, Wednesday, as the powerful Hurricane Rita moved closer to land.

The home of "Mission Control" and the headquarters of NASA´s human spaceflight program, is about half a kilometre from Clear Lake, which is part of Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

NASA turned over control of the International Space Station to Russian mission control near Moscow, where NASA keeps a small team of flight controllers and support personnel. A backup team of space station experts will be moved to a site in the United States to help out in case any emergencies arose on the station.

A small group of workers were to remain inside NASA Mission Control during the storm.

Many of the space center´s 15,000 government and contractor workers listened to warnings of Texas state officials and had left the area by Wednesday morning.

NASA already has been affected by hurricane damage this year.

The Michoud Assembly Facility outside of New Orleans and the Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Miss., have been shut since Hurricane Katrina hit.

The New Orleans center, which manufactures the space shuttle fuel tanks, is key to NASA´s efforts to resume space shuttle flights. The shuttle flights are on hold after problems with falling foam marred this summer´s first shuttle flight since the 2003 Columbia disaster.

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