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NASA again delays launch of moon rocket

With a tropical storm tracking toward Florida, the US space agency has postponed its Artemis 1 mission for the third time.

NASA has delayed the launch of its Artemis 1 moon rocket for the third time, postponing the mission because of an approaching tropical storm that is forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane before making landfall in Florida next week.

Officials at the Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Florida, announced the decision on Saturday, saying they were preparing to roll back the $4.1 billion Space Launch System (SLS) rocket while monitoring reports on Tropical Storm Ian. “To protect our employees and the integrated stack, we will begin configuring the vehicle to roll back,” said Jim Free, NASA’s associate administrator for exploration systems development.

The mission could be rescheduled for liftoff as soon as October 2 if the 330-foot-tall rocket can be left on the launch pad during the stormy weather, but NASA would need to fall back to a later window of opportunity if the SLS has to be hauled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Artemis 1 mission managers are expected to make a decision on Sunday, after considering updated forecasts for the wind speeds that Ian will bring to Florida’s eastern coast.

Tropical-storm-force winds could reach central Florida as soon as Tuesday night, by which time Ian is forecast to be moving through the eastern Gulf of Mexico as a major hurricane. The storm is expected to weaken, though retain hurricane status, before slamming into Florida’s western coast on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how far north it tracks before making landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Although the launch site is on the opposite coast, high winds will likely be felt throughout the narrow peninsula. The rocket stack can reportedly remain at the launch pad and withstand winds up to 85 miles per hour. The massive SLS is touted as the most powerful rocket ever made, producing up to 8.8 million pounds of thrust, according to NASA.

Two other attempts at launching the unmanned Artemis 1 mission were canceled in August and earlier this month because of hydrogen leaks. Plans call for the SLS to propel the Orion space capsule into lunar orbit. Once the system is proven, including the Orion’s high-speed re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, NASA aims to launch a manned mission to orbit the moon in 2024 and the following year to achieve its first crewed moon landing since 1972.

If NASA is forced to roll the rocket back to the Vehicle Assembly Building, the next window of opportunity with potentially favorable conditions for launch will run from October 17 through October 31.

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Source:RT News

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2 COMMENTS

  1. What’s insane is that the majority of the human population still believe mankind ever even set foot on the moon.

    NASA sends 3 astronauts 250,000 kilometres out of orbit in what looks like a cardboard box wrapped in an army tent wrapped in tinfoil and lashed together with duct tape, with computers that had less processing power than the cellphone I’m typing this on. They travel further from the earth than any human being has ever been, safely execute a full landing from space, walk around a few sand dunes that look an awful lot like the Mohave dessert, taking a few pictures that look suspiciously edited and planting a flag that flaps in the air even though there’s supposed to be no wind up there, then climb back into their rickety contraption and execute a full unassisted relaunch all the way back into space on thrusters the size of coke bottles. Got it ????

    Then for the next six decades and despite all our advancements in computers, shuttles and technology we somehow can’t send anything out further than low earth orbit anymore? We have promises and then cancellations, hype and then apologies.

    “It’s just so expensive you see”. Yeah right, because the internet, the two Iraq wars and the CERN super collider all cost nothing, didn’t they?

    I used to think the conspiracy guys were cuckoos, but NASA’s dismal DECADES LONG track record slowly changed that perspective.

    That moon landing was likely Cold War, MSM-driven propaganda, anyone who thinks that sounds crazy, look at the past two years and ask yourself if you’d really put it past them…

  2. lie, dam lie, NASA. Cold war propaganda worked. One hit wonders happen you know.

    A Chinese is likley to be the first real human to set foot on Moon but they are not promising it to happen in the near future; probably a decade away.

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