Sep 24, 2022 - Science

NASA delays Moon rocket launch due to Tropical Storm Ian

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/AFP

NASA will push back its latest attempt at launching its new Moon rocket due to a tropical storm that could become a major hurricane, the agency said in a statement on Saturday.

The big picture: The delay comes as Tropical Storm Ian is expected to become a hurricane by Monday and hit the Florida Gulf Coast. The launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday.

  • It will be the third delay after hydrogen fuel leaks and other technical issues caused the first two scrubs.

What they're saying: "The agency is taking a step-wise approach to its decision-making process to allow the agency to protect its employees by completing a safe roll in time for them to address the needs of their families while also protecting for the option to press ahead with another launch opportunity in the current window if weather predictions improve," NASA said.

What's next: NASA could try for an Oct. 2 launch attempt, the last opportunity before a two-week blackout period.

  • But if NASA takes the rocket off the launch pad — a decision that managers will make late Sunday or early Monday — it would likely mean a lengthy delay for the test flight, possibly pushing it into November, AP writes.
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