Mother Nature is not particularly kind to NASA’s long-awaited Artemis 1 moon mission.
The agency was planning to launch Artemis 1 From the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (KSC) next Monday (November 14). But Tropical Storm Nicole It is pressing on the Atlantic coast of Florida, so NASA has postponed the planned takeoff by two days to November 16.
“Adjusting the target launch date will allow the workforce to take care of the needs of their families and homes, and provide sufficient logistical time to return to launch status after a storm,” NASA officials said in an emailed statement Tuesday night (November 11). 8).
Related: NASA’s Artemis 1 Moon Mission: Live Updates
more: 10 wild facts about the Artemis 1 lunar mission
Artemis 1, the first mission at NASA Artemis program To explore the moon, you will use space launch system (SLS) rocket to launch an unmanned Orion capsule into lunar orbit.
Artemis 1 was originally supposed to release in late August, but Errors Push the target date back by a month. Then Hurricane Ian boiled in the Atlantic Ocean, forcing NASA to do so Roll the Artemis 1 stacker of KSC 39B launch plate And back to the facility’s massive Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in late September.
Artemis 1 remained at the VAB for over a month, during which members of the expedition team carried out a variety of repair and maintenance work. The car retreated to the podium on November 4, and will remain there via Nicole’s landing. The powerful storm is expected to hit Florida early Thursday as a Category 1 hurricane, According to CNN (Opens in a new tab).
“The SLS rocket is designed to withstand winds of 85 mph (74.4 knots) at 60 feet with a structural margin,” NASA officials wrote in an update Tuesday. “Current forecasts predict that the biggest risks to the platform are high winds that are not expected to exceed the design of the SLS. The rocket is designed to withstand heavy rain at the launch pad, and the spacecraft’s hatches have been secured to prevent water intrusion.”
KSC is currently in a state of hurricane state (HURCON) III, which means site personnel are securing property and equipment and fielding a “ride team” that will remain at the center throughout the storm to ensure all is well.
The launch is scheduled for November 16 within a two-hour window that opens at 1:04 a.m. EDT (0604 GMT). If Artemis 1 emerges from Earth on that date, the mission will end with ocean spray by Orion on December 11.
NASA officials said that if Artemis 1 cannot fly on November 16, the next launch opportunity will come on November 19.
Mike Wall is the author of “Abroad (Opens in a new tab)Book (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab) or on Facebook (Opens in a new tab).
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