Hurricane Dennis Veers Away From Florida

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NASA casts wary eye at hurricane, AP

"Shuttle managers decided Thursday evening to begin initial preparations to move Discovery from the pad, as the hurricane increased in intensity and headed toward the Gulf of Mexico and Florida's southern tip. A final call on whether to haul the shuttle back to its hangar and postpone its flight by at least a week was expected Friday afternoon."

Hurricane Dennis continues its approach to the U.S. Overnight, the storm seems to be have taken a more westerly track - away from the East coast and center of Florida (and Space Shuttle Discovery) - and more toward the Gulf of Mexico.

According to NASA KSC PAO this morning, with regard to a possible rollback of the Discovery from the pad, if forecasts show unacceptable conditions from the periphery of the storm "the plan is we will roll back if there is a good possibility that winds will exceed a sustained velocity of 60 knots (69 MPH). Rollback to the VAB must be completed before the wind reaches 40 knots (46 MPH). [It would take] about 48 hours from the time the decision is made to the time we are in the VAB. We had a weather briefing today and at this point we are fairly confident we will not have to fuss with the storm, at least this one this time. It's a long hurricane season."

Of course the folks at the Cape have half a century of experience with this type of weather...


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