Nasa aims for November 14 launch for delayed Artemis 1 Moon rocket mission

Previous attempts were disrupted by technical issues and extreme weather

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Nasa aims to launch the Artemis 1 Moon rocket on November 14 after previous attempts were disrupted by technical issues and extreme weather.

The US space agency’s mission has faced a number of delays, most recently due to safety concerns over Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida.

The 101-metre Space Launch System rocket, with the Orion spacecraft on top of it, was rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building in Kennedy Space Centre to shelter it from the storm.

Nasa said it will transport the rocket back to the launch pad on November 4.

“Artemis I is an uncrewed flight test to launch SLS and send Orion around the Moon and back to Earth to thoroughly test its system before flights with astronauts,” Nasa said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Inspections and analyses over the previous week have confirmed minimal work is required to prepare the rocket and spacecraft to roll out to Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Centre in Florida following the roll-back due to Hurricane Ian.”

There is a 69-minute launch window on November 14 that opens at 12.07am EST, or 8.07pm GST.

There are also back-up dates for November 16 and November 19, both of which offer a two-hour launch window.

Nasa's first launch attempt of Artemis 1 on August 29 failed owing to what engineers believed was a rocket engine cooling problem.

Its second attempt on September 3 also failed after engineers detected a hydrogen leak.

Nasa was targeting September 27 for a lift-off before the hurricane hit.

“Teams will perform standard maintenance to repair minor damage to the foam and cork on the thermal protection system and recharge or replace batteries on the rocket, several secondary payloads, and the flight termination system,” said Nasa.

Updated: October 12, 2022, 3:34 PM
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