NASA’s moon rocket returned to the security of its hangar Tuesday as Hurricane Ian approached Florida, its launch now unlikely earlier than mid-November.
As a substitute of making an attempt to ship it on its first take a look at flight, the launch staff moved the 322-foot (98-meter) rocket off the pad at Kennedy Area Middle. The four-mile (6.4-kilometer) journey took all night time.
NASA official Jim Free mentioned it could be tough to improve the rocket and get it again to the pad for an October launch try. Placing in contemporary batteries is especially difficult, Free famous, making it uncertain a launch may very well be tried earlier than the mid-to-late October launch interval closes. The following two-week window would open on Nov. 12.
The Area Launch System rocket ought to have blasted off a month in the past, however was delayed twice by gasoline leaks and engine points.
As soon as in area, the crew capsule atop the rocket will goal for lunar orbit with three take a look at dummies, a vital gown rehearsal earlier than astronauts climb aboard in 2024. The final time a capsule flew to the moon was throughout NASA’s Apollo 17 lunar touchdown in 1972.
SpaceX’s subsequent astronaut flight to the Worldwide Area Station for NASA, in the meantime, has been delayed not less than at some point by the hurricane. Liftoff is now no sooner than subsequent Tuesday.