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NASA'S JOHNSON SPACE CENTER CLOSES DUE TO HURRICANE RITA



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

>Allard Beutel
>Headquarters, Washington                    Sept. 21, 2005
>(Phone 202/358-4769)
>
>James Hartsfield
>Johnson Space Center, Houston
>(Phone 281/483-5111)
>
>MEDIA ADVISORY: M05-159
>
>NASA'S JOHNSON SPACE CENTER CLOSES DUE TO HURRICANE RITA
>
>     NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston will close at 2 
>p.m. EDT today due to the threat posed to the Houston-
>Galveston area by Hurricane Rita. A small, emergency rideout 
>crew will remain on site.
>
>The center will not reopen until the storm threat has passed. 
>Employees may monitor the status of the center by contacting 
>emergency information phone lines that will be updated as 
>information becomes available: 281/483-3351 or 1-877/283-
>1947.
>
>Johnson Space Center is the home to NASA astronauts and is 
>responsible for their training. Johnson's Mission Control 
>Center directs all space shuttle missions and manages all 
>activity onboard the International Space Station.
>
>Primary flight control of the station will transition to the 
>Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, outside Moscow. As 
>usual, a group of NASA flight controllers is positioned at 
>the Russian control center to assist with operations. Also, 
>an advisory group of flight controllers will provide 
>operations assistance from a remote location. All station 
>systems are operating normally, and the crew has been 
>informed of the plans for Johnson Space Center's closure.
>
>Employees have been working for the past couple of days to 
>protect important documents and equipment at the center. NASA 
>aircraft are being moved to El Paso, Texas, as part of the 
>center's hurricane preparations.
>
>Members of the media may obtain additional information on 
>NASA operations from NASA Headquarters, Washington.
>
>For updates and images of Hurricane Rita on the Web, visit: 
>http://www.nasa.gov/rita
>-end-
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