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Tropical Storm Jan forces NASA to delay Megarocket launch

Tropical Storm Jan forces NASA to delay Megarocket launch
Written by boustamohamed31

SLS on the Kennedy Space Center launch pad.

SLS on the Kennedy Space Center launch pad.
Image: NASA

Ian, the ninth named tropical storm of the current Atlantic hurricane season, derailed NASA’s plan to launch the Artemis 1 mission on Tuesday, September 27.

Like late like friday In the afternoon they were NASA employees careless rejection the Caribbean storm system, but the space agency since then Smartly concluded that Tropical Ian, as the system is now called, is something to worry about.

IN blog post published this morning, NASA said it was “preceding a launch opportunity” and “preparing for a turnback while continuing to monitor the weather forecast” associated with the tropical storm. The 321-foot-tall (98-meter) megarocket currently sits on Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as NASA prepares for the Artemis 1 mission, in which an uncrewed Orion capsule will attempt to fly to the moon and back.

But while NASA canceled Tuesday’s inaugural launch, the agency has yet to decide whether it wants to return the rocket to the nearby Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), a giant hanger that will provide shelter if the storm hits the region. That NASA is even thinking of leaving SLS and Orion on the pad baffles me. The entire system – including Orion –cost $50 billion to develop and each rocket launch will cost about $4 billion. And with the eternal insistence of NASA on safety, it’s time for the space agency to practice what it preaches.

SLS can withstand wind gusts of 85 miles per hour (137 kilometers per hour) at the pad, while reentry can withstand sustained winds of up to 46 miles per hour (74 km/h), as NASA officials explained at a news conference. held yesterday. That’s a relief, but there’s a chance the rocket could be damaged by wind-swept objects. In my opinion, it is better for NASA not to take this risk.

With Tuesday’s launch postponed, teams are now configuring systems in preparation for an eventual rollback; engineers deferred their decision “to allow for additional data gathering and analysis” and will make a decision on Sunday. Should a roll back happen, it would start either late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Image for article titled Tropical Storm Ian Forces NASA to Postpone Upcoming Launch of Megarocket

Graphic: NOAA

That Tropical Storm Ian could reach Kennedy Space Center is a distinct possibility. Projections from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center show potential gusty winds reaching the area Tuesday evening. NASA says it will take about two days to transfer the SLS to the VAB, which doesn’t leave much time for the space agency. In addition to sheltering the rocket, NASA will need to make sure its employees are safe and able to seek shelter if and when the storm hits.

“The agency is taking a phased approach to its decision-making process to allow the agency to protect its employees by completing a safe list in time for them to meet the needs of their families while protecting the ability to move forward with another a launch opportunity in the current window if weather forecasts improve,” NASA wrote.

The launch won’t happen Tuesday, but the Eastern Range, the branch of the Space Force that oversees launches from Florida’s east coast, issued a waiver yesterday saying NASA has the option of launching on Sunday, Oct. 2. The next launch attempt will be NASA’s Third, which takes the SLS and Orion into space, with technical problems causing crashes on August 29 and September 3.

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