Launch of NASA rocket to the Moon postponed to November 16 on the earliest

Launch of NASA rocket to the Moon postponed to November 16 on the earliest

The curse continues for the Artemis 1 house mission: the takeoff of the brand new NASA rocket for the Moon has been postponed once more, to Wednesday, November 16 on the earliest, due to the storm Nicole which ought to hit Florida in the midst of week, NASA introduced on Tuesday.

Liftoff had thus far been scheduled in lower than per week, on November 14, however NASA stated in a press release that it needed to permit its workers to fulfill “the wants of their households” within the face of this storm, which ought to have intensified right into a hurricane upon landfall. After its passage, NASA will even want “sufficient logistical time” to place the rocket again in its launch configuration, she added.

On November 16, the firing window will open at 1:04 a.m. native time (06:04 GMT), however this new date is suspended on “protected situations for workers to return to work, in addition to inspections after the passage of the storm,” NASA stated.

If crucial, one other fallback date had beforehand been set, on November 19. NASA additionally stated on Tuesday that it was engaged on attainable “extra launch alternatives”.

The storm, which is presently over the Atlantic Ocean, is predicted to develop right into a hurricane Wednesday close to the Bahamas, earlier than reaching Florida in a single day Wednesday or Thursday morning, in accordance with the Nationwide Hurricane Heart (NHC). .

A hurricane alert was issued on the coast within the Kennedy Area Heart space, the place the rocket is on its launch pad.

Named SLS, it’s designed to resist winds of 74.4 knots, or roughly 137 km/h. “Present forecasts predict that the best dangers on the launch pad are sturdy winds, which aren’t anticipated to exceed the design of SLS,” reassured NASA. “The rocket is designed to resist heavy rain.”

On Tuesday afternoon, sustained winds from Nicole reached “100 km/h, with increased gusts”, in accordance with the NHC. And the storm is predicted to strengthen additional.

This summer time, two takeoff makes an attempt had been canceled on the final second, because of technical issues when filling the rocket’s tanks with gas.

Then the 98-meter-high machine needed to be returned to its meeting constructing on the finish of September, just a few kilometers away, to be protected against one other hurricane, Ian.

The rocket, whose worth is estimated at a number of billion {dollars}, has solely been again on its launch pad for just a few days.

The Artemis 1 take a look at mission, with out an astronaut on board, is to mark the very first flight of the main American program again to the Moon.

The Artemis program ought to make it attainable to take the primary lady and the primary particular person of coloration to the Moon, in 2025 on the earliest. NASA additionally desires to determine a long-lasting human presence there, together with the development of an area station in orbit across the Moon.

For the American house company, this can be a step that ought to then enable a primary journey to Mars.

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