Space Coast residents hoped astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley would be returning from their historic mission to space this weekend off the coast of Cape Canaveral, but splashing down in hurricane force winds is out of the question
Instead of preparing for the astronauts arrival, technicians at Kennedy Space Center are now organizing to protect the space center from Tropical Storm Isaias.
They began preparing for the storm 72 hours ago by cleaning up debris and securing vehicles. All flight hardware has been secured. Because it's a Category 1 storm they do not install shutters.
At midnight on Saturday KSC, will go to Hurcon 2 which means surface winds in excess of 58 mph could arrive within 24 hours.
The center will then be closed to everyone except the "ride-out team" — a group that stays at KSC during the storm to monitor the situation as the storm hits.
They will be arriving at 8 a.m. Sunday.
The ride out team is made up of emergency operations personnel including electricians, plumbers, fire and emergency personnel and a public affairs officer. Due to COVID-19, the team is much smaller than normal and numbers are less than 20 people.
The team will stay at KSC until the initial assessment of property has been done once the storm passes.
Current forecasts show Tropical Storm Isaias reaching Brevard around 6 p.m. Sunday and making landfall at Cape Canaveral around midnight.