NASA rolls the Artemis I SLS rocket back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB)
Updated at 2:02 a.m Tuesday September 27th
NASA will host a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 27, to discuss the agency's decision to roll the Artemis I Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Artemis I is a flight test to launch SLS and send Orion beyond the Moon and back to Earth before future missions with crew.
As Hurricane Ian moves toward Florida, the agency began to roll back its rocket and spacecraft at 11 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, providing enough time for employees to prioritize safety of their families, as well as protect the Artemis I hardware before the hurricane makes landfall.
Audio of the call will livestream on the agency’s website at:
NASA teams have decided to roll the mega moon rocket back into the Vehicle Assembly Building. That will protect the SLS rocket and Orion capsule from any dangerous weather generated by Hurricane Ian. But this implies the Artemis mission won’t launch until late October or early November.
NASA gave an update Friday afternoon on the Artemis I mission. They plan on pushing forward with an attempt at launching its Artemis I moon mission next week, though forecasted weather conditions are unlikely to be favorable as a tropical system slowly takes aim at Florida. They said that the testing of the fuel system conducted earlier this week went well. The hydrogen leak was within acceptable limits. Officials are pushing forward with a liftoff during the next 70-minute window that opens at 11:37 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27.
Now the issue facing the team is weather. The National Weather Service in Melbourne is predicting possible tropical storm conditions for Tuesday. And a forecast issued by the Space Force shows 80% "no-go" conditions. A decision will be made by Saturday afternoon at the latest.