Press Release

NASA Makes Progress in Hurricane Katrina Recovery

By SpaceRef Editor
September 13, 2005
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NASA is making progress in determining the whereabouts and condition of employees at the agency’s Stennis Space Center, Miss., and the Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans, which were impacted by Hurricane Katrina two weeks ago. Workers are still encouraged to check in by calling: 877/470-5240.

Meanwhile, conditions continue to improve at Stennis and Michoud as crews enhance services and make repairs to damaged buildings. Stennis, where space shuttle main engines are tested, and Michoud Assembly Facility, where space shuttle external fuel tanks are manufactured, have been closed for normal operations since the storm hit. Daily convoys now are moving between both sites and transporting personnel and supplies as Michoud prepares to resume limited operations. Since an overland route has been established, the helicopter airlift operation is being scaled back. To date, three helicopters have taken more than 150 trips, totaling more than 80 flight hours and transporting more than 33,000 pounds of water, food, medical equipment and other supplies.

Stennis Space Center:

– A NASA Gulfstream from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has arrived at Stennis Airport bringing additional supplies and fresh NASA relief operations personnel.

– Stennis continues to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s relief efforts in the surrounding area. More than 25 million pounds of ice, 3.6 million gallons of water and 2 million ready-to-eat meals have been dispatched from Stennis to six Mississippi counties. More than 1,700 tractor-trailer loads of relief supplies have been processed through Stennis.

– Stennis will remain in a limited operations mode for the near term as facilities and the available workforce can be assessed.

Michoud Assembly Facility:

– A water purification system provided by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California is producing 3,000 gallons of fresh water per hour. It joined a 600-gallon-per-hour unit operated by the Marines on site.

– Limited commercial power was restored to Michoud yesterday. Power throughout the facility is expected to be restored early next week.

– Temporary roof repairs have been completed to Michoud Building 420, which houses one of the space shuttle external tanks, and temporary roof repairs are scheduled to begin this week on two other operational buildings.

– Land-line telephone service was restored yesterday.

NASA’s toll free phone number for employees to check in and for help locating employees who work at either facility is:


NASA has a public Web site to convey important contact information for NASA employees and contractors impacted by Katrina and for general public information at:

For Stennis/Michoud updates and images on the Web, visit:

Members of the public who have general questions about NASA’s Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts can call:


NASA also can take email inquiries from the public about general storm recovery activities. Use “Assistance — Katrina” in the subject line, and send to:

SpaceRef staff editor.