NASA has once again delayed its Artemis I Moon mission launch owing to a tropical storm next week.
This mission was scheduled to finally launch on November 14 but tropical storm Nicole approaching the Florida coast has forced the US space agency to push back the launch attempt.
“Adjusting the target launch date will allow the workforce to tend to the needs of their families and homes, and provide sufficient logistical time to get back into launch status following the storm,” NASA said in a statement.
NASA was monitoring Nicole and has decided to re-target a launch for the Artemis I mission for November 16, pending safe conditions for employees to return to work, as well as inspections after the storm has passed.
Based on expected weather conditions and options to roll back ahead of the storm, the space agency determined the safest option for the launch hardware was to keep the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft secured at the pad.
Artemis I is the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, an uncrewed Orion spacecraft, and the ground systems at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida that will pave the way for a crewed test flight and future human lunar exploration as part of Artemis.
In September, the US space agency called off the Artemis I launch, owing to Tropical Storm Ian threat. On September 3, NASA attempted to launch Artemis I but called it off after detecting a liquid hydrogen leak.