Goldin: Terrorists won't slow NASA
(CNN) -- At least one launch has been delayed because of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, but NASA administrator Daniel Goldin told employees on Thursday that the attacks would not stop the space agency's work.
The Kodiak Star launch from Kodiak, Alaska, was delayed by two days due to travel interruptions brought about by the attacks, according to NASA spokesman Bruce Buckingham at Kennedy Space Center. The launch now is set for September 19 at 9 p.m. EDT.
The Kodiak Star mission is made up of four small satellites that will be launched aboard a Lockheed Martin Athena 1 rocket. The launch will be the first orbital launch from the new Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska.
Meanwhile, NASA headquarters in Washington reopened Thursday under heightened security. Goldin addressed employees in a gathering broadcast on NASA TV.
"This has been a very difficult time for all of us. We have witnessed a senseless tragedy of monumental proportions," he said.
Goldin assured employees that the terrorist attacks had not slowed the work of the space agency.
"Throughout these terrible days, NASA's work has continued," he said. "The international space station still is in orbit. Research continues. Telescopes continue to send us remarkable data."
He asked employees to be patient with increased security at NASA facilities.
"We cannot forget that there's still potential for further violence. It may not be over yet," Goldin said.
NASA employees return to work
NASA's 10 field centers also re-opened to all employees Thursday, NASA spokesman Brian Dunbar said. He said some employees were displaced by the ban on U.S. air travel.
"We're like everyone else affected by the grounding of the airlines," he said.
At Kennedy Space Center, the home base of NASA's shuttle fleet, all employees were allowed to return to work Thursday.
"After a shutdown of a day-and-a-half, we're calling employees to return to work," Buckingham said. He added that shuttles were being processed as planned.
There are no shuttles on launch pads. Three are in hangers. One, Endeavour, is in the Vehicle Assembly Building being prepped for launch on November 29.
The attacks in New York and Washington have not impacted a scheduled Russian launch to the international space station.
A docking station, called Pirs -- the Russian word for pier -- is scheduled for launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 7:35 p.m. EDT on Friday. It's expected to arrive at space station Alpha at 9:08 p.m. EDT on Sunday.
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