NASA says moon rocket set to launch as planned despite minor effects from Hurricane Nicole
NASA announced on Friday that it still plans to launch Artemis I, a moon-orbiting mission, next week despite the landfall of Hurricane Nicole just south of the Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Fla.
Artemis I, which includes NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, is set to launch early Wednesday morning.
The agency claimed that it conducted “thorough assessments” of the launch complex following Nicole’s arrival on Thursday as well as “closely inspecting” the spacecraft.
“Space Launch System engineers have performed detailed analysis to confirm the sustained and peak winds experienced during the storm have no adverse effect on the structural strength of the rocket,” wrote NASA.
The Artemis launch has been delayed multiple times this year due to technical issues and environmental conditions.
NASA announced on Tuesday that it would move the launch from Monday, Nov. 14, to Wednesday, Nov. 16, following Hurricane Nicole’s landfall.
The agency said on Friday that NASA teams will finish various minor repairs from the storm before the Artemis I launch on Wednesday, including fixing loose caulk and weather coverings.
The Artemis I mission management team plans to meet on Sunday to finalize launch preparations.