The NASA SLS moon rocket was taken back from the launch site to the hangar, threatened by a hurricane on the way

The NASA SLS moon rocket was taken back from the launch site to the hangar, threatened by a hurrican

Late last night, the NASA team began to transport the SLS launch vehicle with Orion to the assembly hangar. The weather forecast is extremely bad, with Hurricane Jan approaching the coast of Florida. Wind speed at the cosmodrome promises to be higher than critical, which could damage the missile, for example, by filling critical knots with water. NASA had almost everything ready for launch, but it was postponed again for an indefinite period.

This is the third re-entry of the missile into the hangar. The previous two, in April and June, were related to breakdowns at some point in the delivery of cryogenic fuel into the missile tanks. At the end of August, the missile was taken to the launch site for the third time, but the rapid hydrogen supply to the first-stage tanks was again leaked and delayed for repair on the ground. The successful repair allowed for the launch on 27 September or 2 October. However, the weather has now intervened. Hurricane Yang, which was formed in the Caribbean, threatens to hit Florida's coast with destructive force and could thus damage the missile.

The re-entry into the assembly shop will save the launch vehicle and the ship from the wind and water. At the same time, it will make it impossible to launch it into the back window on 2 October. Previously, NASA stated that the next back-up launch windows would open between 17 and 31 October. It can be expected that with a favourable weather forecast, the launch could take place within this time frame.

The re-entry of the missile into the hangar will allow the NASA team to re-test the automatic missile destruction system at a deviation. The East Coast Space Command will certify the node for 20 days. For the SLS missile, it has made an unprecedented exception by extending the resolution to more than 50 days, but since the missile has been taken to the hangar, the NASA team will be able to replace the battery of the node and re-verify it.

It takes about 11 hours to transport the missile to the hangar from the launch site. At the hangar, it will be at Moscow time by noon. You can expect NASA to set the next launch date for the Artemis mission by the end of this week. In the course of the mission, the SLS missile will have to take the Orion unmanned ship to the high orbit of the Moon and return to Earth in a short period of time. The mission must prove the ability of the ship without destruction to enter the Earth's atmosphere at high interplanetary speeds.