(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
NASA has called off the scheduled Tuesday launch of its historic
uncrewed mission to the Moon due to a tropical storm that is
forecast to strengthen as it approaches Florida, Trend reports citing
“NASA is forgoing a launch opportunity... and preparing for
rollback (from the launchpad), while continuing to watch the
weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian,” it said on
The US National Hurricane Center said Ian is due to“rapidly
intensify” over the weekend as it moves toward Florida, home to the
Kennedy Space Center, from which the rocket is set to launch.
A decision on whether to roll back the giant Space Launch System
(SLS) rocket to the Vehicle Assembly Building is due to be taken by
the Artemis 1 team on Sunday.
On the launch pad, the orange and white SLS rocket can withstand
wind gusts of up to 137 kilometers (85 miles) per hour. But if it
has to be sheltered, the current launch window, which runs until
October 4, will be missed.
The next launch window will run from October 17 to 31, with one
possibility of take-off per day, except from October 24-26 and
The Artemis 1 space mission hopes to test the SLS as well as the
unmanned Orion capsule that sits atop, in preparation for future
Moon-bound journeys with humans aboard.
A successful Artemis 1 mission will come as a huge relief to the
US space agency, after years of delays and cost overruns.
But another setback would be a blow to NASA, after two previous
launch attempts were scrapped when the rocket experienced technical
glitches including a fuel leak.
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