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Dorian Hits Kennedy Space Center With High Winds, NASA “Hopeful” Damage Is Minimal

Emergency Management Officer Tim Moore and Brig. Gen. Doug Schiess monitor Kennedy Space Center as Hurricane Dorian grazed the space coast.

Despite winds nearing 100 mph, Kennedy Space Center was spared major damage as Hurricane Dorian moved up the coast.

Wind data from a tower at KSC clocked the top wind speed at 90 mph while the storm’s eye passed about 70 miles off the coast.

The space center actually experienced heavier winds from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, so initial assessments are optimistic.

“We’re hopeful that since it was less than [Hurricane Matthew] you will have less damage,” said NASA’s Derrol Nail. “There’s a hope that, given that lesser wind speed, things should be better than they were certainly during Matthew.”

He said there was sporadic power outages at the space center as the storm moved along the coast early Wednesday morning.

A group of around 120 KSC staffers and Air Force personnel hunkered down at the Launch Control Center through the storm. A 400-foot launch tower was moved inside the VAB earlier this week for safe keeping.

A damage assessment team will take a closer look at the facility Thursday morning before clearing KSC for staff to return Friday.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will re-open to guests Friday.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »