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Kennedy Space Center remains closed, but spared major damage

September 12, 2017 - 12:58 PM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA's Kennedy Space Center remained closed Tuesday but appeared to have weathered Hurricane Irma well.

The same holds true at adjoining Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Power was restored to NASA and Air Force facilities but water service was still out Tuesday. Until that's restored, officials said Kennedy would stay closed to non-essential personnel. Inspection crews were out in full force.

At Kennedy's tourist area, life-size replicas of the space shuttle fuel tank and booster rockets were still standing outside the home of shuttle Atlantis. 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.

Last October, Hurricane Matthew stayed safely off shore. On Monday, Hurricane Irma's path remained well to the west of Cape Canaveral, which got hit with high winds and heavy rain.

About 9,000 people work at Kennedy, most of them contractors.

Several private companies, including Boeing and SpaceX, have operations at Kennedy and reported minimal damage. 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. At the Air Force station, rocket maker United Launch Alliance reported only minor damage to its buildings.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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