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Approaching storm may delay launch try for NASA moon rocket – Winnipeg Free Press


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — An approaching storm threatens to delay NASA’s next attempt to launch its new lunar rocket, which has been on the ground for weeks due to fuel leaks.

A tropical depression in the southern Caribbean is moving towards Florida and could become a major hurricane.

On Friday, managers said the rocket was ready to launch on Tuesday for its first test flight without astronauts after more hydrogen leaks were overcome during refueling tests earlier this week.

FILE – NASA’s Lunar Rocket stands on pad 39B prior to attempting to launch the Artemis 1 mission into lunar orbit at the Kennedy Space Center on Friday, September 2, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. On Friday, September 23, 2022, a storm in the Caribbean threatens to delay NASA’s third attempt to launch a rocket. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, file)

NASA said it would continue to monitor the forecast and decide by Saturday no later than whether to not only delay the launch, but move the rocket off the pad and back into the hangar. Officials said it’s unclear when the next launch attempt will be in October or even November if the rocket has to seek shelter indoors.

It takes three days to prepare the rocket to return it to the giant Kennedy Space Center vehicle assembly building, four miles away.

“I don’t think we’re getting close to that,” said NASA’s Tom Whitmyer, deputy assistant administrator for research systems. “We’re just taking it step by step.”

This will be the third attempt to launch the Space Launch System rocket, the most powerful ever built by NASA. Fuel leaks and other technical problems nullified the first two attempts.

The 322-foot (98-meter) rocket can withstand wind gusts of 85 mph (137 km/h) on the pad, but only 46 mph (74 km/h) while moving.

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The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Department of Science Education. AP is solely responsible for all content.





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