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NASA is foregoing a launch attempt on Tuesday and preparing for a rollback

Best on pad for video.jpg
Rick Glasby
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SLS rocket on the launch pad.

Updated at 1:44 p.m. Saturday September 24th

NASA is foregoing a launch opportunity Tuesday, Sept. 27, and preparing for rollback, while continuing to watch the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian. During a meeting Saturday morning, teams decided to stand down on preparing for the Tuesday launch date to allow them to configure systems for rolling back the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Engineers deferred a final decision about the roll to Sunday, Sept. 25, to allow for additional data gathering and analysis. If Artemis I managers elect to roll back, it would begin late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

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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.

Rick Glasby is a Broadcast Journalist at WFIT.