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NASA Readies for Hurricane Frances.


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Frances.
Hurricane Frances.

Hurricane Frances has swept past Puerto Rico and is now on a path that could strike the Bahamas, and eventually even hit Florida. NASA workers at the Kennedy Space Center are powering down the space shuttles, closing their payload doors, and stowing away their landing gear to prepare for the storm. Frances is now a dangerous category 4 hurricane, with winds as high as 225 kph (140 mph), and it will reach the coastal US later this week. This photograph of the hurricane was taken by NASA's Terra satellite on August 31.

NASA is keeping a close watch over Hurricane Frances as it churns toward the United States. International Space Station cameras are capturing spectacular images of the storm from above. On the Florida coast, NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is making preparations to protect the Space Shuttle fleet, spacecraft hardware, and facilities against damage.

Video of Hurricane Frances taken by external television cameras aboard the Space Station at about 7:30 a.m. EDT today vividly depicts a classically shaped storm in the Atlantic Ocean. The video, along with additional views captured during the weekend, is airing on the NASA TV Video File throughout the day. NASA will release new footage of Frances as it becomes available.

NASA also has still images of the storm, taken by Astronaut Mike Fincke aboard the International Space Station, as well as NASA's Terra satellite. They're available at:

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/frances.html

At KSC, workers are powering down the Space Shuttle orbiters, closing their payload bay doors and stowing their landing gear. They are also taking precautions against flooding by moving spacecraft hardware off the ground and sandbagging facilities. NASA plans to release video of these activities beginning tomorrow.

NASA TV is available on the Web and via satellite, in the continental U.S. on AMC-6, Transponder 9C, C-Band, located at 72 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz. In Alaska and Hawaii, NASA TV is available on AMC-7, Transponder 18C, C-Band, located at 137 degrees west longitude. Frequency is 4060.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz.




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