NASA is marshaling agency resources to assist Gulf Coast-areafacilities that suffered damage from Hurricane Katrina. The agency ispreparing to provide help for NASA employees and contractors whosehomes were damaged or destroyed.
Monday's storm hit NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi andMichoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, which is operated by LockheedMartin. Both facilities are closed during recovery efforts. During thestorm, hundreds of people including employees, family members andothers took shelter at Stennis. A small contingency of NASA employeesand contractors rode out the storm at Michoud. There are no reports ofany injuries at NASA facilities.
"My heart goes out to all the people affected by this hurricane,"said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin. "I will be visiting Stennisand the Michoud Assembly Facility soon to talk with our people."
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., sustainedminor damage and is providing support to Stennis and Michoud. Twohelicopter flights from Marshall were delivering communicationequipment and other supplies to the facilities today. Initial damageassessments indicate some buildings at Stennis sustained water and roofdamage, but the exact extent has not been determined.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is using the center as astaging area for local recovery efforts. The center's Space Shuttlemain engine test stands do not appear to be damaged.
At Michoud, which makes the Space Shuttle's external fuel tanks,several buildings suffered window and roof damage. It appears thatspace flight hardware was not damaged, but a preliminary assessment hasnot been completed. The facility has no electrical power andcommunication is limited. Debris on roadways is restrictingtransportation around the facility.
NASA will provide new information as it becomes available. For updates, visit:
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