Hurricane Ian forces NASA's Artemis I moon mission to November
NASA has determined it will focus Artemis I launch planning efforts on the launch period that opens on November 12 and closes on November 27. NASA said teams at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida conducted initial inspections Friday to assess potential impacts from the Hurricane.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, NASA has delayed the launch of the Artemis I Moon mission until November. As crews finish post-storm recovery activities, NASA has decided to focus Artemis I launch preparation efforts on the November 12 to November 27 launch window.
"Teams from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida performed preliminary inspections Friday to determine potential Hurricane Ian consequences. There was no damage to the Artemis flight gear, and the facilities are in good condition, with just little water incursion detected in a few areas," the space agency said in a statement.
Engineers will then extend access platforms inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) surrounding the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to prepare for more inspections and to begin preparations for the next launch attempt, including retesting the mission termination system.
NASA stated that management would assess the breadth of work to be completed while in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in the following days and set a particular schedule for the next launch attempt.
"Focusing efforts on the November launch timeframe enables time for staff at Kennedy to address the needs of their families and homes following the storm, as well as for teams to identify extra checkouts required before returning to the pad for launch," NASA explained.
Artemis I is NASA's unmanned flight test that will lay the groundwork for human exploration in deep space while also demonstrating NASA's dedication and competence to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.