Hurricane Ian regained strength as it barreled toward South Carolina on Friday (Sept. 30) after passing over NASA’s Kennedy Space center spaceport in Florida a day earlier.
Ian regained its hurricane status as a Category 1 storm on Friday, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph) as it churned in the Atlantic Ocean about 60 miles (95 kilometers) from Charleston, South Carolina, as off 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT). The storm caused devastating damage across parts of Florida on Thursday (Sept. 29) as it passed over the state, causing massive flooding and wind damage.
At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, which Ian passed over as a weakened tropical storm on Thursday, officials reported minimal damage.
Photos: Astronaut looks inside eye of Hurricane Ian from space
#GOESEast is continuing to monitor #Hurricane #Ian this morning as it heads toward the coast of the Carolinas, where hurricane conditions and a life-threatening storm surge are expected by this afternoon.Latest:https://t.co/FYrreOueMf pic.twitter.com/cRw3QINiqjSeptember 30, 2022
“Kennedy teams have cleared most large operational facilities with minimal damage reported. Teams will continue assessing other facilities tomorrow,” KSC officials wrote in a status update (opens in new tab) on Thursday. “NASA leadership’s top priority is protecting the health and safety of our workforce and ensuring the well-being of every employee.”
At the nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Patrick Space Force Base, officials are evaluating the impact of Ian on the military infrastructure.
“We are continuing to assess both Patrick Space Force Base & Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for damage from Hurricane Ian,” officials with the Space Force’s Space Launch Delta 45 group wrote in a Twitter update Friday (opens in new tab). “After they deem their facility safe, mission essential personnel are authorized access. We will be slowly reopening facilities throughout Friday and over the weekend, and expect to fully reopen on Monday, October 3,” they added in a separate update (opens in new tab).
Hurricane Ian forced the delay of several rocket launches, including SpaceX’s Crew-5 astronaut mission to the International Space Station for NASA. That mission, originally scheduled for Oct. 3, will now launch no earlier than Oct. 5 from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX also plans to launch two Galaxy satellites for Intelsat in the coming week.
The launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the SES 20 and SES 21 communications satellites was also delayed. It was targeted for Sept. 30, but will now liftoff no earlier than Oct. 4 due to the storm.
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