Hurricane Ian pushes NASA to roll back Artemis I rocket

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It’s a large hold for the ngo

Sep 26, 2022, 4:37 PM UTC|

Dark clouds loom implicit    the Artemis I rocket arsenic  it sits connected  a motorboat  pad astatine  Kennedy Space Center.
Thunderstorms determination implicit Artemis I astatine motorboat pad 39-B astatine Kennedy Space Center successful Florida connected August 27th, 2022.

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Threatening weather volition unit NASA to nonstop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket from its presently precarious presumption connected the launchpad backmost to the Vehicle Assembly Building for safekeeping. The determination volition hold the agency’s highly anticipated motorboat of its Artemis I ngo astir the Moon.

NASA made the announcement this greeting arsenic Hurricane Ian barrels toward Florida. The tempest is expected to intensify rapidly today, becoming a large hurricane contiguous oregon aboriginal Tuesday greeting arsenic it passes by Cuba. Ian could bring “life-threatening tempest surge, hurricane-force winds, and dense rainfall” to occidental Florida and the Florida Panhandle by the mediate of the week, the National Hurricane Center warned this morning. Both President Joe Biden and Governor Ron DeSantis declared a authorities of exigency for Florida implicit the weekend.

On Saturday, NASA called off the Artemis I motorboat that that was planned for tomorrow. At the time, the bureau was inactive unsure whether it should permission the rocket connected the launchpad successful the hopes that the rocket mightiness beryllium capable to instrumentality disconnected connected its backup date, October 2nd. Today’s determination to rotation the rocket backmost to the Vehicle Assembly Building astir apt means that program is scrapped, too. The squad has not officially fixed up connected the October 2nd day oregon announced different imaginable motorboat day yet, but Artemis I mightiness present person to hold until November for different motorboat window.

The highly anticipated motorboat is expected to nonstop the uncrewed Orion spacecraft looping astir the Moon. It’s a trial ngo to guarantee that the spacecraft tin safely transportation astronauts to the Moon and backmost and volition people the SLS’s archetypal travel to space. The Artemis I motorboat for SLS and Orion is simply a large measurement successful NASA’s plans to bring the archetypal pistillate to the Moon.

But earlier Hurricane Ian came into the picture, the Artemis I motorboat was already delayed. Two erstwhile motorboat attempts successful late August and early September were scrubbed due to the fact that of method problems.

Artemis I mightiness present person to hold until November

Now, NASA plans to statesman moving the rocket backmost to the Vehicle Assembly Building astatine 11PM ET tonight. They’re trying to clip it truthful that upwind during the rollback meets definite criteria. Among them, they don’t privation to beryllium rolling backmost erstwhile highest winds deed much than 40 knots oregon if there’s much than a 10 percent accidental of lightning wrong 20 nautical miles of the motorboat area. The rollback itself volition instrumentality many hours to complete.

“Managers met Monday greeting and made the determination based connected the latest upwind predictions associated with Hurricane Ian, aft further information gathered overnight did not amusement improving expected conditions for the Kennedy Space Center area. The determination allows clip for employees to code the needs of their families and support the integrated rocket and spacecraft system,” the bureau said successful a blog post.

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