NASA‘s Johnson Space Center will be closed to non-essential personnel through Labor Day on Sept. 4 as a result of the weather conditions in Houston, Texas and the impact of Tropical Storm Harvey.
The space agency said Wednesday that the center’s leaders continue to monitor the situation in Houston and will prepare to assess the facility’s status after the storm passes.
NASA noted that the closure of the center will allow employees to stay away from harsh road conditions as well as provide an opportunity for select personnel to continue high-priority mission activities such as the landing of three crew members.
“Our primary concern is the safety of our employees and all our fellow Houstonians … We’re taking these measures to ensure the members of our team and their families can take care of themselves and their neighbors,” said Ellen Ochoa, director of the Johnson Space Center.
The space agency began placed the James Webb Space Telescope in a giant thermal vacuum at the Johnson Space Center in July as part of a 100-day cryogenic test that will look to validate the platform’s capacity to withstand against the cold temperatures in space.
NASA said that backup systems at the space center have been prepared to support the James Webb Space Telescope testing if necessary.