KSC battens down the hatches in advance of Hurricane Irene

With Hurricane Irene threatening the spacecoast along with much of the mid atlantic east coast south to the carribbean, there are many prepartions going on for this major hurricane.

The Kenendy Space Center is no stranger to hurricanes.  While the Air Force 45th Space Wing prepares the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for the storm, the United Launch Alliance and NASA are moving up some tasks in preparing the GRAIL mission currently sitting on the pad at Launch Complex 17B atop a 12 story Delta II rocket.

The protective payload faring which encapsulates the spacecraft is being installed a few days early in preparation for Irene’s arrival, currently forcast to gust up to 160 MPH early Friday morning.

 

 

In September 2004, KSC weathered hurricane Francis and the VAB took a pretty good hit, ripping over 800 huge panels away, and a Gemini era rocket near the entrance was toppled as well: