Katrina damages NASA facilities

August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina damaged NASA spaceport facilities along the Gulf Coast, casting doubt on the space shuttle's scheduled March launch.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said its Michoud Assembly Facility east of New Orleans and the Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss., both experienced considerable wind damage and will remain closed indefinitely.

Damaged roofs and water leaks were found throughout the 832-acre Michoud complex, where Lockheed Martin manufactures the shuttle's external fuel tank. In Michoud's main manufacturing building, concrete roof panels were blown away by winds gusting to 125 mph, leaving a large hole, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Stennis Space Center is used by NASA to test rocket engines. That facility reported serious roof and water damage. Stennis is currently being used by state and federal officials as a shelter and base for relief operations.

If NASA is to meet its March 4-19 launch window, a newly redesigned fuel tank must leave Michoud by barge for Kennedy Space Center by mid-November. NASA officials say the chance of that occurring appears remote. The next launch window is May 3-22.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA sees Hurricane Seymour becoming a major hurricane

Related Stories

Image: CST-100 Starliner manufacturing

October 25, 2016

An engineer guides the upper dome of a Boeing CST-100 Starliner as it is connected to the lower dome to complete the first hull of the Starliner's Structural Test Article, a prototype spacecraft that is identical to the operational ...

How many planets are there in the galaxy?

October 25, 2016

On a clear night, and when light pollution isn't a serious factor, looking up at the sky is a breathtaking experience. On occasions like these, it is easy to be blown away by the sheer number of stars out there. But of course, ...

NASA animation shows Seymour becomes a hurricane

October 24, 2016

Tropical Depression 20 formed in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on Sunday and by Monday at 11 a.m. it exploded into a hurricane named Seymour. An animation of satellite imagery created by NASA shows the development of the new ...

Taking the surprise out of hurricane season

October 21, 2016

Prior to the 1960's, the biggest storms on Earth could take people by surprise. Someone standing on a beach in Florida might not know if a distant bank of clouds was a routine squall or … the harbinger of a powerful hurricane.

Recommended for you

Shocks in the early universe could be detectable today

October 27, 2016

(Phys.org)—Physicists have discovered a surprising consequence of a widely supported model of the early universe: according to the model, tiny cosmological perturbations produced shocks in the radiation fluid just a fraction ...

Ten months in the air without landing

October 27, 2016

Common swifts are known for their impressive aerial abilities, capturing food and nest material while in flight. Now, by attaching data loggers to the birds, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.