NASA scraps Artemis-I Moon launch scheduled on Tuesday as Tropical Storm ‘Ian’ to intensify

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New Delhi: NASA on Saturday called off the launch of its historic uncrewed mission to the moon that was scheduled on Tuesday (Sept. 27) due to a “rapidly intensifying” tropical storm ‘Ian’, as it approaches Florida.

“NASA is forgoing a launch opportunity… and preparing for rollback (from the launchpad), while continuing to watch the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian,” the aeronautic agency said in a brief press note.

“During a meeting Saturday morning, teams decided to stand down on preparing for the Tuesday launch date to allow them to configure systems for rolling back the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Engineers deferred a final decision about the roll to Sunday, Sept. 25, to allow for additional data gathering and analysis. If Artemis I managers elect to roll back, it would begin late Sunday night or early Monday morning,’ said NASA.

“The agency is taking a step-wise approach to its decision making process to allow the agency to protect its employees by completing a safe roll in time for them to address the needs of their families while also protecting for the option to press ahead with another launch opportunity in the current window if weather predictions improve. NASA continues to rely on the most up to date information provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Space Force, and the National Hurricane Centerr,” added NASA.

According to the US National Hurricane Centre, the tropical storm ‘Ian’ is due to “rapidly intensify” over the weekend as it moves toward Florida, home to the Kennedy Space Centre, from which the rocket was scheduled to launch.

Notably, the next launch window will run from October 17 to 31, with one possibility of take-off each day, except from Oct 24-26 and 28.

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