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NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida Gets All Clear as Hurricane Dorian Moves On

NASA's historic spaceport in Florida, the Kennedy Space Center, has received the "all clear" after a glancing blow from Hurricane Dorian Wednesday (Sept. 4).

Hurricane Dorian, currently a Category 2 storm on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, drenched the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral with torrents of rain and brutal winds as its outer layers blew past the spaceport overnight Tuesday and early Wednesday. A damage assessment team will begin reviewing the storm's impact to the center on Thursday.

KSC officials closed the spaceport last week as Dorian, then a harrowing Category 5 storm, threatened to hit Florida's east coast. The storm has since weakened and turned north, avoiding a head-on hit to Florida. Still, a 120-member "Ride Out Team" has been encamped inside the center's Launch Control Center since Monday (Sept. 2) to monitor the storm's impact, NASA officials said. Members of the U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing also rode out the storm at the launch center, the space agency said.

Video: Watch Hurricane Dorian Bombard KSC with Torrential Rain, Wind
In Photos:
Hurricane Dorian from Space in Astronaut and Satellite Views

Security officials raise the American flag over the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39 in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sept. 4, 2019 after a glancing blow from Hurricane Dorian. (Image credit: NASA/KSC via Twitter)

"Data from our 250-foot tower clocked the top wind speed at 90 mph (145 km)," KSC officials said in a Twitter update. "The closest approach Dorian's eye [made] to the Cape was 70 nautical miles (130 km)."

By midday Wednesday, officials had declared the all-clear at the space center, with a security detail raising an American flag above the iconic countdown clock at Launch Complex 39, which saw the launches of NASA's most historic Apollo and space shuttle missions.

"The Damage Assessment and Recovery Team will fully survey Kennedy for Hurricane Dorian damage on Thursday," KSC officials said via Twitter. "Workers at NASA Kennedy are scheduled return to work Friday."

As of 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) on Wednesday, Hurricane Dorian had maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 km/h) and was located about 150 miles (245 km) south of Charleston, South Carolina, according to a National Hurricane Center update. The storm is forecast to approach South Carolina's east coast late Wednesday and move near or over the North Carolina coast on Thursday and Friday, the center reported. 

If you live along Hurricane Dorian's path, follow your local National Weather Service office for the latest forecasts. You can find the latest updates on Dorian from the NHC here

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.  

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