Space

NASA’s Artemis I Moon Rocket Departs Launch Pad Ahead of Hurricane Ian

NASA Artemis I Moon Rocket Departs Launch Pad Ahead of Hurricane Ian

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B as teams configure systems for rolling back to the Vehicle Assembly Building, Monday, September 26, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA made the decision to rollback based on the latest weather predictions associated with Hurricane Ian. NASA’s Artemis I flight test is the first integrated test of the agency’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket, and supporting ground systems. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Managers decided to roll back based on the latest weather predictions associated with Hurricane Ian not showing improving expected conditions for the Kennedy area.

At 11:21 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 26, NASA’s Artemis I Moon rocket left launch pad 39B atop the crawler-transporter and began its 4-mile trek to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Managers had met Monday morning and made the decision based on the latest weather predictions associated with Hurricane Ian, after additional data gathered overnight failed to show improving expected conditions for the Kennedy Space Center area. The decision allows time for employees to address the needs of their families as well as protect the integrated rocket and spacecraft system. The time of first motion, which was targeted for 11 p.m. EDT, was based on the best-predicted conditions for rollback to meet weather criteria for the move.

For its weather-related decisions, NASA has continued to rely on the most up-to-date information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Space Force, and the National Hurricane Center throughout its evaluations and continues to closely monitor conditions for the Kennedy area.

NASA continues to provide a live stream of the rocket and spacecraft on the launch pad.

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