Artemis mission: the launch of the rocket postponed once again by NASA

Space epic enthusiasts will have to wait a little longer. NASA announced this Saturday, for the third time, the postponement of the takeoff of the the mega rocket from the “Artemis 1” mission to the Moon due to a storm.

Under the threat of Tropical Storm Ian, currently south of Jamaica, NASA must prepare the rocket to return to its assembly building. The storm is expected to become a hurricane in the next few days and move up the Gulf of Mexico towards Florida, where the Kennedy Space Center is located from where the rocket will take off.

The final decision made on Sunday

“On Saturday morning, the teams decided to forgo preparation for Tuesday’s liftoff date to allow them to set up the systems to transport the rocket … in the assembly building,” NASA wrote in a NASA article. Blog. Then the current layoff period, which runs until October 4, would be lost.

However, the final decision to retract the rocket will be made on Sunday, “to allow more data and analysis to be collected” as the weather forecast becomes clearer, it added. If carried out, the operation would then begin “Sunday night or early Monday morning.”

If it is ultimately decided that the rocket can remain on its launch pad, NASA did not specify whether the previously announced booking date of Oct. 2 could still be considered for liftoff. The orange and white SLS rocket, 98m tall, can withstand wind gusts of up to 137km/h on its launch pad. And for the complex maneuver of directing the rocket to its assembly building, the sustained wind speed must not exceed 75 km/h.

Preparing the return to the Moon

initially predicted August 29the departure of the machine had been postponed for the first time due to a technical problem, then a second time on September 3for the same reasons.

The launcher, which travels empty, will have to carry out a test flight to prepare the return of the astronauts to the Earth satellite in 2030.

Fifty years after the last Apollo mission, Artemis 1 should make it possible to verify that the Orion capsule, on top of the rocket, is safe to carry men in the future.

For this first mission, Orion must venture up to 64,000 km behind the Moon, farther than any other habitable spacecraft to date.

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