Status Report

Draft NASA OSO Point Paper: Hurricane Katrina Impact 30 August 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
August 30, 2005
Filed under ,

OSO PAO Point Paper August 30, 2005


Background: Both Michoud Processing Facility and NASA’s Stennis Space Center remain closed. Stennis and Michoud house some important elements of the Space Shuttle Program, including the main engines, External Tanks and some orbiter hardware.

Below is a summary of Hurricane Katrina impacts as of Tuesday midday.


  • No injuries reported at MAF
  • First priority is to take care of the NASA families – civil service and contractors – affected by Hurricane Katrina. Assessing their needs and working to provide logistical support and resources
  • Working with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through NASA HQ to support those affected by the storm
  • Working to ensure the facility is protected – provide additional security support
  • Limited transportation, communication in the area
  • Preliminary damage assessment – roofs damaged, windows damaged, leaks, high-bay door damaged, power lines, down, trees/limbs in roadways.
  • Five barges are stranded on top of levee along East Side of facility, some concrete cracks evident in levee.
  • At this time it appears space flight hardware at the facility wasn’t damaged, however a preliminary damage assessment hasn’t been complete yet.
  • MAF communications are getting better, but still far from normal. There may have been significant damage to the fiber network.
  • MAF damage assessment will be started in earnest today. Ride out teams are tiring and must cope with the devastation of their homes and family concerns.
  • MAF will remain closed through at least Wednesday


  • No injuries are reported at Stennis.
  • Stennis will remain closed until further notice.
  • The hundreds of people who sheltered at Stennis during the storm, are still at the center. This includes employees, their family members and other members of the public.
  • FEMA personnel are setting up a staging area for area recovery efforts at Stennis.
  • The concerns are for Stennis employees and their homes, which may have been damaged or destroyed by the storm.
  • Flooding up to 10 miles inland has been reported.
  • Helicopter flights from Marshall are coming to Stennis today to drop off more communications equipment and other supplies.
  • Some of the buildings at Stennis were damaged by the storm, but the exact extent isn’t known yet. The center’s test stands apparently weathered the storm well.
  • The hundreds of people who sheltered at the center had to stay there overnight because of flooding in the areas around Stennis.


  • MSFC apparently sustained very minor damage – a few leaks, branches down, some temp power losses. Will know more this morning as personnel come in and report to the Emergency Ops Center.
  • MSFC focus now is providing support to MAF and Stennis
  • Planning on two helicopter missions today with Army/Redstone assistance:
  • One to MAF with damage assessment/communication team and one to MAF with additional Security personnel.
  • One or both may stop over at Stennis to drop off satellite phones/communications package and assess situation. Need to establish better Stennis contact to coordinate that visit.

PAO: Allard Beutel, HQ – 202/358-4769

Rex Geveden, HQ: 8/30/05
David Mould/Dean Acosta, HQ: 8/30/05

SpaceRef staff editor.