NASA will roll Artemis 1 back to shelter it from Hurricane Ian

Because the Artemis 1 launch site is on the predicted path of Hurricane Ian, NASA decided not to take chances with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft. The agency will roll them back to the safety of the vehicle assembly building around 11:00 p.m. ET tonight. You can watch the rollback in NASA’s ongoing Artemis 1 livestream below.

“Managers met Monday morning and made the decision based on the latest Hurricane Ian-related weather forecasts, after additional data collected overnight showed no improved expected conditions for the Kennedy Space Center area,” the said NASA in a statement. “The decision allows time for employees to attend to the needs of their families and protect the integrated missile and spacecraft system.”

Although an SLS refueling test held last week was successful, the threat of the hurricane forced NASA to cancel a scheduled September 27 launch. If the Artemis 1 agency can’t launch before October 3rd (which seems unlikely at this point), they won’t be able to make another attempt until the next window opens on October 17th.

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