Earlier this month, NASA had to call off the launch of its historic unscrewed mission to the Moon. The mission was called off due to a tropical storm approaching Florida.
Due to the threat of extreme weather, NASA has been considering returning the Artemis 1 mission rocket. This comes after two previously canceled launch attempts.
NASA revealed that it was forgoing a launch opportunity and preparing for rollback from the launchpad and keeping a keen eye on the weather forecast regarding Tropical Storm Ian.
Artemis 1 launch canceled
The ain’t white and orange Space Launch System (SLS) on the launchpad is designed to withstand wind gusts of up to 137 kilometers per hour. However, if the rocket has to be sheltered, NASA is likely to miss its current launch window, which extends till October 4.
Jim Free, an associate administrator for NASA’s exploration systems development directorate, tweeted that a “step-wise approach” would be undertaken to roll back the launch. This will ensure that a launch opportunity is still available as and when weather conditions improve. He indicated that a launch date before October 5 was still on the table for NASA.
If the launch fails to take place in this launch window, the next available launch window is from October 17 to October 31.
Tropical Storm Ian
Tropical Storm Ian is currently the south of Jamaica and is expected to reach Florida’s west coast when it is the strongest. The approach is likely to happen in the following weeks, resulting in flooding and hurricane-force winds across the State.