NASA will have to send the SLS rocket back to the Vehicle Assembly Building if the weather gets bad. The Artemis I mission will be delayed due to the move.
As Ian barrels towards Florida, NASA made an announcement. As it passes by Cuba, the storm is expected to become a major Hurricane. The National Hurricane Center warned this morning that Ian could bring life threatening storm surge, Hurricane-force winds, and heavy rain to western Florida and the Florida Panhandle by the middle of the week. There was a state of emergency in Florida over the weekend.
The Artemis I launch was canceled by NASA on Saturday. The agency wasn't sure if it should leave the rocket on the launchpad in the hopes that the rocket might be able to take off on October 2nd. The plan to roll the rocket back to the Vehicle Assembly Building probably isn't going to happen anymore. Artemis I might have to wait until November for another launch window because the team has not given up on the October 2nd date.
The uncrewed spaceship is supposed to travel around the moon. It is a test mission to make sure that the SLS will be able to carry astronauts to the Moon and back in the future. NASA plans to bring the first woman to the moon with the launch of the Artemis I.
The Artemis I launch was delayed before Hurricane Ian hit. Technical problems forced the cancellation of two previous launches.
I may have to wait until November.
The rocket will be moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building at 11PM tonight. They are trying to time it so that the weather during the roll out is good. If there is more than a 10 percent chance of lightning within 20 nautical miles of the launch area, they don't want to roll back. It will take a long time to complete the roll back.
Managers met Monday morning and made the decision based on the latest weather predictions associated with Hurricane Ian, which did not show improved conditions for the Kennedy Space Center area. The agency said in a post that the decision allowed time for employees to address the needs of their families.