The curse continues for the Artemis 1 space mission: the launch of the Nasa rocket for the Moon is postponed again
Sylvie Claire / November 9, 2022
The liftoff of Nasa's new rocket to the Moon has been postponed again, to Wednesday, November 16at the earliest, because of the storm Nicole that is expected to hit Florida in the middle of the week, Nasa announced Tuesday.
The liftoff was so far scheduled in less than a week, on November 14, but Nasa said in a statement that it wanted to allow its employees to meet "the needs of their families" in the face of this storm, which is expected to have intensified into a hurricane by the time it makes landfall. After the storm, Nasa will also need "enough logistical time" to return the rocket to its launch configuration, it added. The Nov. 16launch window will open at 1:04 a.m. local time, but the new date is contingent on "safe conditions for employees to return to work, as well as post-storm inspections," Nasa said. In case of need, another date of withdrawal had been previously set, on November 19. Nasa also said Tuesday to work on possible "additional launch opportunities ».
This summer, two take-off attempts were cancelled at the last moment, due to technical problems when filling the rocket's tanks with fuel. Then the 98-meter high rocket had to be returned to its assembly building, a few kilometers away, to be protected from another hurricane, Ian. The rocket, whose value is estimated at several billion dollars, has been back on its launch pad for only a few days. The Artemis 1 test mission, with no astronauts on board, should mark the very first flight of the great American program to return to the Moon.