Mother Nature has been particularly unkind to NASA’s long-awaited Artemis 1 moon mission.
The agency was planning to start work Artemis 1 next Monday (Nov. 14) from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC). But Tropical Storm Nicole It lands on the Atlantic coast of Florida, so NASA postponed the planned flight by two days to November. 16.
“Adjusting the target launch date will allow the workforce to meet the needs of their families and homes and provide sufficient logistical time to return to launch status after the storm,” NASA officials said in an emailed statement Tuesday (Nov.) evening. 8).
Related: NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar mission: Live updates
More: 10 wild facts about the Artemis 1 mission
Artemis 1, NASA’s first mission Artemis program bear intelligence, will use Space launch system (SLS) rocket to launch the unmanned Orion capsule into lunar orbit.
Artemis 1 was originally supposed to be launched in late August, but malfunctions the target date was pushed back a month. Then Hurricane Ian boiled over in the Atlantic, forcing NASA to do so Remove the Artemis 1 stack from KSC’s Launch Pad 39B and re-enter the facility’s massive Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in late September.
Artemis 1 remained at VAB for more than a month as mission team members performed various repairs and maintenance. In November, the car went to the pillow again. 4 and it will remain there until Nicol lands. The strengthening storm is expected to hit Florida as a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday morning. According to CNN (opens in new tab).
“The SLS rocket is designed to withstand 85 mph (74.4 knots) winds with a structural margin of 60 feet,” NASA officials said in an update Tuesday. “Current forecasts predict that the biggest risks to the field are strong winds, which are not expected to overwhelm the SLS design. The rocket is designed to withstand heavy rainfall on the launch pad, and the spacecraft’s hatches are protected to prevent water ingress.”
KSC is currently in Hurricane Condition (HURCON) III, which means site workers are securing property and equipment and establishing an “escape team” that will remain at the center throughout the storm to ensure all is well.
The November 16 release is scheduled to take place in a two-hour window starting at 1:04 a.m. EST (0604 GMT). If Artemis 1 lifts off on that date, the mission will end with Orion splashing into the ocean in December. 11.
If Artemis cannot fly on November 1st. 16, the next presentation opportunity will come in November. NASA officials said on the 19th.
Mike Wall is the author of “There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter. @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or where Facebook (opens in new tab).
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