To the JSC Community:
Our center, the greater Houston region and Texas coast continue to cope with the unimaginable impact of Hurricane Harvey. Each day of this disaster reminds me of the incredible ways people have come together to comfort one another and lift each other up. First and foremost, I want you to know the continued safety and well-being of the JSC team and your families is my highest priority. We are staying in close contact with our civil servants and contractors and doing what we can for those who were hit the hardest by this storm. I’ve heard devastating accounts from our team members of lost homes, flooded vehicles and loss of lifelong possessions. We all continue to see the widespread devastation around the region on the local and national news and yet throughout this unprecedented tragedy, we see the values of resilience, perseverance and strength.
JSC experienced significant flooding during the heaviest rains, but the main campus buildings did not flood. A few buildings experienced some roof leaks, resulting in water in some offices. Additionally, the Sonny Carter Training Facility was hit especially hard with rising water. We have evaluated the habitability of all our facilities and cleanup is progressing quickly. All facilities are expected to be ready for use next week, although some significant workarounds may be required. As we head into the Labor Day holiday weekend, I want each of you to know what ourmission priorities are and know that of upmost importance to me, is what we are doing to support our co-workers, families, neighbors and friends. I thank each of you in advance for your support, dedication and focus.
• Flight control for the International Space Station will continue in our Mission Control Center as Expedition 52 crew members Peggy Whitson, Jack Fischer and Fyodor Yurchikhin return to Earth this Saturday in Kazakhstan and Peggy and Jack back to Houston Sunday.
• The James Webb Space Telescope mission essential personnel at JSC remained safethroughout the storm and the telescope and test chamber are in good shape. Testing continued throughout the storm and we will continue to monitor the JWST’s status. A water leak caused damage in the open high-bay area of building 32. While all backup facility systems required to maintain services were checked out before the storm and readied for use, they were not needed.
• The Employee and Family Recharge and Refresh (R&R) Station at the Gilruth Center will remain available through Monday, Sept. 4, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for those our team members who need a clean, safe and familiar environment to cool off, shower, charge electronics and give the kids a place to burn off some energy. People can also pick up supplies there; thank you to all who have donated supplies as well as time and effort.
• Approximately 125 people were on duty at JSC as members of the Rideout Team. I thank them for their dedicated service and want to ensure these team members are able to tend to their families and homes now that the storm has passed.
• Our Center Operations Directorate will continue efforts to clean up JSC so that we are up and running and able to execute our various missions upon our return.
We’ll get back to work on Tuesday, Sept. 5, but in the coming days and weeks, I ask each of you to continue to support our JSC team members most affected. Please continue to reach out to the community – people you may or may not know – with reassurance and kindness. I want you to know I’ve received so many thoughtful and encouraging messages from our NASA colleagues and from people around the country and internationally. It means a lot to me to know we have the support of so many during this difficult time.
Please continue to stay safe and Houston Strong!