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NASA's Satellite Photo of Hurricane Ivan.

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Hurricane Ivan.
Hurricane Ivan.

NASA's Terra satellite took this photograph of Hurricane Ivan as it roared past the island of Jamaica on Saturday. The US space agency is gearing itself up for another potential encounter with a hurricane; just a week after Hurricane Frances damaged the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. Forecasters are expecting that KSC will receive winds of 75 kph (45 mph) and more rain on Tuesday. 1,500 employees have been working to get the space centre back online, and managers are still planning to reopen to its full 14,000 employees on Monday.

Managers and meteorologists at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) are closely monitoring Hurricane Ivan as it approaches the United States through the Caribbean Sea.

The latest computer models have the powerful storm moving west and farther away from KSC's location on Florida's east central coast (visit the National Hurricane Center for the latest forecasts and tracks).

With forecasters expecting KSC to receive maximum winds around 40 knots and four to six inches of rain from Ivan on Tuesday, NASA managers are planning to reopen KSC to its 14,000 employees Monday, as originally scheduled. With that model in mind, the KSC director will make a final decision about reopening on Sunday.

About 1,500 damage assessment and support personnel have spent the past week working to get KSC operational after last weekend's hit from Hurricane Frances. Workers are continuing to prepare KSC this weekend for reopening and for Hurricane Ivan.

When KSC opens, about 700 employees will report to alternative worksites, because their buildings were damaged by Frances and require extensive repairs. All KSC employees will have facilities with power, air conditioning, voice and data communications.

NASA will provide updates about the Kennedy Space Center and Hurricane Ivan as new information becomes available. When information for KSC employees is available, it will be posted at http://www.nasa.gov/kennedy.

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