Thursday, September 11, 2008

Houston, We Have A Problem (JSC Closes for Ike)

Sept. 11, 2008

Allard Beutel
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Michael Curie
Headquarters, Washington

John Ira Petty
Johnson Space Center, Houston

RELEASE: 08-230


HOUSTON - NASA's Johnson Space Center will close at noon CDT Thursday and remain closed until the threat of Hurricane Ike has passed. Ike, a Category 2 hurricane in the western Gulf of Mexico, is expected to cross the Texas coast early Saturday as a Category 3 storm.

The International Space Station Flight Control Room at Mission Control in Houston was shut down Thursday morning. Station flight control continued through backup teams located near Austin, Texas, and Huntsville, Ala.

Most NASA aircraft at Ellington Field, located just north of Johnson, have been flown to a facility in El Paso, Texas. That includes 19 of 26 T-38s, a WB-57, and three of four shuttle training aircraft. Nine other aircraft are undergoing maintenance and have been secured in hangars at Ellington.

Johnson employees and journalists should call the Employee Information Line for updated news on the center's status. The local telephone number is 281-483-3351. If local communications are disrupted, employees can call a toll-free information line at 877-283-1947.

NASA has a Web site to convey important information to NASA employees and contractors impacted by Hurricane Ike at: