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Launch operators expect minimal delays from Hurricane Irma

13 Sep 2017, 12:00 UTC
Launch operators expect minimal delays from Hurricane Irma
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A construction trailer at the Turn Basin near KSC’s Vehicle Assembly Building was turned over during Hurricane Irma. Credit: NASA/Bill White
SpaceX and United Launch Alliance expect to resume launches with little or no delay after Hurricane Irma veered west of Cape Canaveral last weekend, sparing the launch base from the storm’s most extreme damage.
The Kennedy Space Center is still closed to non-essential personnel, and is expected to remain closed until at least Thursday. Electrical power has been restored to the NASA spaceport, but water services were still shut off as of Tuesday night.
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station also remained closed Tuesday to non-mission essential personnel, according to a post on the 45th Space Wing’s Facebook page.
Aerial photos released by NASA on Tuesday showed a few KSC buildings sustained minor roof and structural damage, and flooding was observed in some low-lying parts of the center.
SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said her company’s launch campaigns at launch pad 39A — a former space shuttle facility located at KSC — should not see much interruption from Irma.
“We don’t anticipate, at this point, a delay in our next launch from 39A,” Shotwell said Tuesday at ...

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