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In preparation for the possibility of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival next week, the Kennedy Space Center is shutting down, including moving the giant mobile launcher vehicle, with the SLS launch tower on it, indoors to protect both.
The agency on Wednesday moved its hulking Apollo-era crawler-transporter out to Launch Complex 39B in order to bring the massive Mobile Launcher inside for the storm. That deployment must be made promptly because the crawler-transporter travels at just 1 mph (1.6 km/h).
The launch tower itself is 400 feet (122 meters) tall, which makes it a clear hazard in the high winds of a hurricane. NASA decided today (Aug. 29) that Dorian is threatening enough to merit moving the launch tower into Kennedy’s cavernous 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building for safety.
Their caution makes sense. Expect NASA to also announce that this two week delay in work will cause them several months more in delays to the SLS program. That has been their pattern over the years.