Another roadblock for Artemis 1; launch threatened by storm

Another roadblock for Artemis 1; launch threatened by storm

The storm is now south of the Dominican Republic and has not yet been given a name.

The historic NASA uncrewed mission to the Moon is currently experiencing new challenges.

A fresh launch attempt for the Artemis 1 mission, slated for Tuesday, is now in jeopardy due to a storm that is forming in the Caribbean after two previous attempts were delayed by technical issues some weeks ago.

The storm is now south of the Dominican Republic and has not yet been given a name.

However, it is anticipated to intensify into a hurricane over the next few days and proceed northward into Florida, where the Kennedy Space Center is located and from which the rocket is scheduled to launch.

"Our plan A is to stay to course and to get the launch off on September 27," Mike Bolger, NASA's exploration ground systems manager, told reporters on Friday. "But we realized we also need to be really paying attention and thinking about a plan B."

That would entail wheeling the giant Space Launch System rocket back to the Vehicle Assembly Building, known as VAB.

"If we were to go down to Plan B we need a couple days to pivot from our current tanking test or launch configuration to execute rollback and get back into the protection of the VAB," Bolger said, adding that a decision should be made by early afternoon on Saturday.

Another roadblock for Artemis 1; launch threatened by storm
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The orange and white SLS rocket can endure wind gusts up to 137 kilometres per hour on the launch pad. However, the present launch window, which lasts through October 4, will be missed if it needs to be shielded.

From October 17 through October 31, there will be one possible launch every day, with the exception of October 24-26 and 28.

After years of setbacks and cost overruns, the US space agency will feel a great deal of relief if the Artemis 1 mission is a success. However, NASA would suffer a setback after two prior launch attempts were aborted due to technical issues with the rocket, including a fuel leak.

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