Tropical Depression Nicole Delays NASA and SpaceX Launch
Tropical Depression Nicole put a damper on plans for NASA and SpaceX to launch their 26th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station, forcing it to push the date back to Nov. 21.
SpaceX, which is led by billionaire and new Twitter owner Elon Muskoriginally intended to launch its Dragon cargo spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket on Nov. 18 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but the arrival of the now tropical depression Nicole has left the space agencies looking at a date no earlier than November. 21.
Nicole made landfall just south of Vero Beach, Florida with sustained winds of 75 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
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It is responsible for the deaths of at least two people, according to Fox Weather, who were electrocuted when they encountered a crashed power line in Orlando.
The storm brought powerful waves along Florida’s east coast that caused significant erosion and caused several buildings to collapse.
Coastal flooding has also been a problem with TropicalDepression Nicole. In fact, a NOAA tide gauge in Port Canaveral, Florida, recorded a 3.6 rise above the mean high tide on Thursday morning.
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On Thursday evening, the center of the tropical cyclone was 40 miles southeast of Tallahassee, Florida and had wind gusts of 40 miles per hour.
As the storm moves north, NASA and SpaceX can begin preparations for their resupply mission later this month.
The payload will include a lunar microscope, which NASA said is a handheld handheld microscope that allows astronauts to take a blood sample and obtain images that can be sent to surgeons on the ground to diagnose illnesses.
The Dragon will also send new science experiments, supplies and equipment to the crew, including a study to grow dwarf tomatoes in space.
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