NASA Delays Moon Rocket Launch Attributable to Potential Hurricane

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is skipping subsequent week’s launch try of its new moon rocket due to a tropical storm that’s anticipated to turn into a significant hurricane.

It’s the third delay prior to now month for the lunar-orbiting take a look at flight that includes mannequins however no astronauts, a follow-up to NASA’s Apollo moon-landing program of a half-century in the past. Hydrogen gasoline leaks and different technical points prompted the earlier scrubs.

Currently churning within the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Ian is anticipated to turn into a hurricane by Monday and slam into Florida’s Gulf coast by Thursday. The whole state, nonetheless, is within the cone displaying the possible path of the storm’s heart — together with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Given the forecast uncertainties, NASA determined Saturday to forgo Tuesday’s deliberate launch try and as a substitute put together the 322-foot (98-meter) rocket for a potential return to its hangar. Managers will determine Sunday whether or not to haul it off the launch pad.

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If the rocket stays on the pad, NASA may strive for an Oct. 2 launch try, the final alternative earlier than a two-week blackout interval. But a rollback late Sunday or early Monday seemingly would imply a prolonged delay for the take a look at flight, probably pushing it into November.

The Space Launch System rocket is probably the most highly effective ever constructed by NASA. Assuming its first take a look at flight goes effectively, astronauts would climb aboard for the subsequent mission in 2024, resulting in a two-person moon touchdown in 2025.

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