November 30, 2022

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NASA postpones decision to return Artemis I to vehicle assembly building due to Tropical Storm Ian

NASA postpones decision to return Artemis I to vehicle assembly building due to Tropical Storm Ian

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NASA says it is delaying a decision on launch Artemis I Tuesday as preparations continue for a possible return to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

On Saturday, planners suggested they were pulling the plug on trying to launch the Artemis I mission to the moon from the Kennedy Space Center due to weather forecasts linked to Tropical Storm Ian.

FILE: NASA’s Artemis I rocket rests on Launch Pad 39-B at the Kennedy Space Center on Sept. 02, 2022 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
(Joe Riddell/Getty Images)

But NASA said on Sunday it would delay a little longer in making that decision as weather forecasts hinted at more favorable conditions for the launch.

in statementNASA said the latest information indicated “a slower movement and possibly a more western path of the storm than yesterday’s forecast showed, providing more time for the agency’s decision-making process and for staff to prioritize their families in the event the storm impacts the Kennedy Space Center area.”

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NASA Administrators It will meet on Sunday evening to assess whether to back off or stay on the launch pad to preserve a chance of trying to launch next week.

NASA said the exact time of a possible dip could happen on Monday or as early as Tuesday morning and will ultimately depend on future weather forecasts.

NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is on the launch pad.

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is on the launch pad.
(NASA)

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The spacecraft is scheduled to travel to the moon, deploy some small satellites, and then settle into orbit. NASA aims to practice operating the spacecraft, test the conditions crews will experience on and around the lunar surface, and assure everyone that the spacecraft and any passengers can safely return to Earth.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.