JSC Closed Through Labor Day As It Copes With More than 40 Inches of Rain

JSC Closed Through Labor Day As It Copes With More than 40 Inches of Rain

NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) will remain closed to all but mission essential personnel through Labor Day as it copes with more than 40 inches of rain that has fallen since Friday because of Tropical Storm Harvey.  A planned news conference with Peggy Whitson from the International Space Station tomorrow has been cancelled. 

Snip from Google Maps.

JSC is located between Houston and Galveston, TX, just east of League City.  Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast on Friday and although its wind speeds lessened to Tropical Storm status, it stalled over Texas and has been producing epic amounts of rain.

A JSC Twitter feed providing emergency information (@jscsos) reports that the center received 42 inches of rain by this morning, with more on the way.

Nevertheless, JSC’s Mission Control remains in operation and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) — which arrived at JSC in May for thermal vacuum testing — is reported to be secure.

NASA announced today that JSC will remain closed to everyone other than mission essential personnel until the day after Labor Day, a federal holiday on Monday, September 4.  The agency said that would “allow employees to avoid treacherous road conditions, and to attend to the needs of their families.”

Record-breaking NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who will return to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday, was scheduled to hold her final news conference from ISS tomorrow, but that has been cancelled.  Her return to Earth on Soyuz MS-04, along with fellow NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and Roscosmos cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, remains on track for Saturday.  The landing in Kazakhstan is at 9:22 pm Eastern Daylight Time (7:22 am September 3 local time at the landing site).

Three new ISS crew members are scheduled for launch from Kazakhstan on September 12.  The trio includes NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba who already are in Russia.  Live media interviews with them on September 1 also have been cancelled.

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