Hurricane Forces NASA Moon Rocket to Shelter; Launch on Maintain

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Ian is prompting NASA to maneuver its moon rocket off the launch pad and into shelter, including weeks of delay to the lunar-orbiting check flight.

Mission managers determined Monday to return the rocket to its Kennedy Space Center hangar. The four-mile journey will start late Monday evening and will take so long as 12 hours.

The house middle remained on the fringes of the hurricane’s cone of uncertainty. With the most recent forecast displaying no enchancment, managers determined to play it protected. NASA already had delayed this week’s deliberate launch try due to the approaching storm.

NASA isn’t speculating when the subsequent launch try could be, nevertheless it may very well be off till November. Managers will assess their choices as soon as the 322-foot (98-meter) Space Launch System rocket is safely again within the hangar.

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A pair of launch makes an attempt had been thwarted by hydrogen gas leaks and different technical bother.

The $4.1 billion check flight will kick off NASA’s return to the moon for the reason that Apollo moonshots of the Sixties and Seventies. No one shall be contained in the crew capsule for the debut launch. Astronauts will strap in for the second mission in 2024, resulting in a two-person moon touchdown in 2025.

Meanwhile, NASA and SpaceX are nonetheless concentrating on an Oct. 3 launch of a crew from the U.S., Russia and Japan to the International Space Station. But managers acknowledged that the flight may very well be delayed as Kennedy braces for the hurricane and its aftermath.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely liable for all content material.

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