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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Storm Delays NASA Kennedy Space Center Partial Reopening

Managers at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., are delaying reopening the center for mission essential personnel Thursday morning because of slow-moving Tropical Storm Fay. Personnel should not report for work at 10 a.m. EDT as previously directed, but instead should check the center's status through the hurricane phone lines and emergency operations center website at noon, according to a NASA announcement.

Plans still call for the center to open to all employees and return to full operation Friday, NASA says.

Fay stalled off the coast from Kennedy overnight. It continues to bring heavy rain and tropical storm force wind to the area.

Individual center supervisors have defined which workers are considered mission essential. These will include employees who are needed to ensure center infrastructure is safe and working, and personnel who process space flight hardware, such as space shuttles and Hubble Space Telescope equipment, NASA says.

Based on initial assessments, there are no injuries or damage to flight hardware associated with Fay at the center.

About 200 emergency personnel, known as a "ride-out crew," remain on-site Thursday to provide real-time storm assessments, NASA says.

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