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NASA evacuated the space center in Houston and transferred control of the space station to Russia

Avi Blizovsky

Saturn rocket at the Houston Space Center. Photo: Avi Blizovsky (June 2002)

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On Wednesday, NASA was ordered to evacuate the Johnson Space Center in Houston and hand over command of the International Space Station to its Russian partners due to the approach of the massive Hurricane Rita, now out of the Gulf of Mexico, towards the city
Most of the center's 15 employees, whether government employees or contractor employees, left the space center by the time the official evacuation notice arrived. They did so following a request from the Texas authorities.
Johnson Space Center, home of NASA's Manned Flight Program Control Center and Headquarters, is less than half a mile from Clear Lake, part of Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Workers covered the computers and other electronic equipment with plastic wrap and picked up loose objects from all over the center. A small group of workers will remain inside the control center during the storm, a NASA spokesman said in Houston.

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