(Update: Launch waived off) NASA continues to prepare for Artemis I launch despite deteriorating weather
- United States
NASA is gearing up for a potential launch opportunity for Artemis I on Tuesday, September 27. In parallel, the mission team is monitoring the forecast associated with the formation of a tropical depression in the Caribbean Sea.
This will be the third launch attempt for Artemis I, the first integrated flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft beyond the Moon, which was scrubbed twice due to leakage in the engine cavity.
"Managers are initiating activities on a non-interference basis to enable an accelerated timeline for rolling back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to protect the rocket, should it be necessary. Discussions about whether to remain at the launch pad or roll back to the VAB are on-going and based on the latest forecast predictions," the agency said in a statement on Friday.
NASA is yet to make a decision on whether to remain at the launch pad or roll back using incremental protocols to take interim steps necessary to protect people and hardware with a final decision anticipated no later than Saturday, Sept. 24.
Earlier this week, NASA conducted the cryogenic demonstration test for the Artemis I mission.
People are the most important part of our mission, and our team's safety and well-being are our top priorities. We are grateful to our partners at @NOAA, @SpaceForceDOD, and @NHC_Atlantic for helping us protect them and our #Artemis I vehicle. https://t.co/dHtVq7ciuB pic.twitter.com/RGh6YrIljs— Jim Free (@JimFree) September 24, 2022
In parallel, NASA is preparing for the fifth crew rotation mission with SpaceX as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. The agency is targeting 12:46 p.m. EDT, Monday, October 3, for the launch of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station. The four members of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission will travel to the space station for a six-month science and technology research mission.
NASA is foregoing a Sept. 27 launch opportunity and preparing for rollback. The teams decided to stand down on preparing for the Tuesday launch date to allow them to configure systems for rolling back the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), the agency said in a statement on Saturday.
Artemis I update: @NASA is foregoing a launch opportunity Tuesday, Sept. 27, and preparing for rollback, while continuing to watch the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian.Learn more: https://t.co/A7M6KfWynN pic.twitter.com/Ul12GiPEte— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) September 24, 2022
NASA says it is closely monitoring the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian while conducting final preparations to allow for rolling back the Artemis I SLS rocket and Orion to the VAB.