NASA can’t catch a break with its next-generation Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
Following two aborted makes an attempt to ship the automobile on its maiden flight a month in the past, NASA determined a number of days in the past to abandon a possible third launch effort as Tropical Storm Ian approached the Kennedy Space Center launch website in Florida.
But Tropical Storm Ian has now developed into Hurricane Ian, leaving NASA with little selection however to carry out the laborious job of eradicating the rocket from the launchpad to guard it from attainable harm.
Fans of (very) sluggish TV can watch NASA’s big crawler transporter carry the rocket again to its shelter contained in the Vehicle Assembly Building, a course of that’s set to start at 11 p.m. ET (8 p.m. PT) tonight and proceed by the night time.
“Due to weather predictions related to Hurricane Ian, NASA teams will roll the Artemis I NASA SLS rocket and NASA Orion spacecraft back to the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA Kennedy. First motion is targeted for 11 p.m. ET tonight,” NASA stated in a tweet saying its determination.
— NASA Artemis (@NASAArtemis) September 26, 2022
The hurricane is one more headache for NASA’s SLS crew because it seeks to ship the 98-meter-tall rocket to house for the primary time as a part of the Artemis I mission.
No agency date has been set for the subsequent launch try, however as soon as in orbit, the SLS automobile will deploy the Orion spacecraft, which can carry out a flyby of the moon earlier than returning to Earth about six weeks later.
Artemis I’ll fly and not using a crew, but when it goes effectively, NASA will ship astronauts on Artemis II, which can fly the identical route as the primary mission.
After that, Artemis III, which may take flight as early as 2025, will endeavor to place the primary lady and first individual of coloration on the lunar floor in what may also be the primary crewed touchdown for the reason that ultimate Apollo mission in 1972.
But earlier than NASA can correctly launch the Artemis program, it wants calm climate circumstances to prevail on the Kennedy Space Center.
The National Weather Service stated on Monday that Ian is shaping as much as be a “major hurricane in the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the middle of this week,” including: “Regardless of Ian’s exact track, there is a risk of a life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall along the west coast/Panhandle of Florida by midweek.”