After assessing any damage to the spaceport caused by Hurricane Dorian as it narrowly missed Florida’s east coast, NASA says the Kennedy Space Center will reopen for normal operations Friday. Teams rolled the Space Launch System’s mobile launch platform from pad 39B back into the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building last week for safekeeping during the storm.
NASA civil servants and the agency’s contractor work force are bracing for high winds and rain from Hurricane Dorian, securing rocket stages, spacecraft assembly areas and even hauling a 6.7-million-pound mobile launch tower, designed for the huge rocket being built for the Artemis moon program, back to the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building for safekeeping.
A commercial Dragon cargo capsule is heading back to Earth Tuesday to conclude a 31-day stay at the International Space Station. The SpaceX-owned spacecraft was released from the station’s Canadian-built robotic arm at 10:59 a.m. EDT (1459 GMT), and the Dragon supply ship splashed down in the Pacific Ocean with nearly 3,400 pounds of cargo at 4:21 p.m. EDT (2021 GMT).