Kennedy Space Center remains closed after hurricane

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 13, 2017

Hurricane Irma's tropical storm force winds slammed the Space Coast with sustained winds of more than 50 miles per hour, with the highest recorded wind gust Sunday night at 94 miles per hour in Cape Canaveral. Until that's restored, Kennedy will stay closed to non-essential personnel.

Inspection crews were out in full force Tuesday. No major damage was reported at the visitor complex, which remains closed through Wednesday, and Atlantis and all other space artifacts were safe and in good shape, said spokeswoman Rebecca Shireman.

"We dodged another bullet", said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, who's in charge of Air Force operations. Images of an aerial tour of the center September 12 showed some roof and other exterior damage to some buildings, but not necessarily as serious as what KSC suffered when Hurricane Matthew passed just offshore in October 2016. On Monday, Irma remained well to the west of Cape Canaveral.

About 9,000 people work at Kennedy, majority contractors. United Launch Alliance also reported only minor damage to its facilities at Cape Canaveral, and expected to resume normal operations as soon as September 13. In addition, the Air Force's secretive X-37B space planes - one rocketed into orbit just last week - use a couple of former shuttle hangars.

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