Press Release

NASA Plans to Resume Work at Michoud Assembly Facility

By SpaceRef Editor
September 18, 2005
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Recovery efforts at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans are progressing better than originally anticipated, almost three weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck. Power has been restored to the entire complex where space shuttle external fuel tanks are made. Temporary repairs have been made to damaged buildings.

Due to the progress, the Space Shuttle program has decided to keep tank work at Michoud. The program had explored the option of moving some tank work to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Officials determined that by the time Kennedy’s facilities were outfitted to do tank work, Michoud would already be operational. The agency is now assessing the work force needed to start and maintain minimal operations at Michoud. The main priority will be to ensure temporary housing for NASA civil servants and contractors whose homes were destroyed by Katrina.

Preparations are also under way to ship two external tanks from Kennedy back to Michoud by barge. External tank #120 is expected to arrive at Michoud in early October. It will be examined and portions of it dissected to better understand why foam came off during Space Shuttle Discovery’s launch last July. External tank #119 will be sent back to Michoud in late October.

NASA is still working to contact 76 of more than 2,000 Michoud employees. The toll free phone number for employees to check in and for help locating employees who work at either Michoud or the Stennis Space Center, Miss., is: 877/470-5240

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:

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.