NASA waves off the next Artemis I launch attempt due to a tropical storm
Due to concerns over Tropical Storm lan making its way towards Cuba and Flordia, the Artemis 1 rockets would not have their third launch attempt on Tuesday. Post meeting on a Saturday morning, the NASA Artemis team has decided to forgo the September 27 launch opportunity and is now preparing the mega moon rocket stack for rollback. As of Tuesday, Tropical Storm Ian is forecast to be moving north through the eastern Gulf of Mexico as a hurricane off the southwest coast of Florida. CNN Meteorologist has said that a cold front will be draped across northern Florida, pushing south.
With the combination of these weather forces, there will be chances for increased rain across much of the Florida peninsula on Tuesday, including the Cape Canaveral area. There is also a forecast of showers and thunderstorms in numerous and widespread sites across the region. There are also chances of tropical storm force winds from Ian to arrive as early as Tuesday night across central Florida. The Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft would continue to sit on the Launchpad at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
There will be a meeting on Monday between the NASA team members to determine when to roll the rocket stack back into the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy. The agency had said that managers met on Sunday evening to review the information from the US Space Force, the National Hurricane Centre, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and had decided to allow for extra overnight data to be gathered before taking the final call.
The preparation would shorten the typical three processes to roll the spacecraft back inside. Once the vehicle is rolled on the slow-moving crawler transport, it would take 10 hours or more. The rocket stack would remain at the pad and can withstand winds up to 85 miles per hour. If the stack needs to be rolled back into the building, it can handle sustained winds of less than 46 miles per hour. Hence a new launch date is awaited.
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