Now that Hurricane Ian is gone, NASA crews get Artemis ready for November launch

More specific launch date is to come

The NASA moon rocket slated for the Artemis mission to the moon rolls back to the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The launch of the rocket was postponed due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Ian. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – NASA’s Space Launch Systems rocket fared well inside the Vehicle Assembly Building during Hurricane Ian, and now crews are getting ready for a November launch of the Artemis mission.

NASA said teams at Kennedy Space Center conducted initial inspections after the hurricane passed the area. No damage was found to the Artemis flight hardware. Some minor water intrusion was found in the VAB in a few locations.

[TRENDING: Tax holiday: Gas prices see sharp drop in Florida | News 6, Salvation Army to host donation drive for Hurricane Ian victims | Become a News 6 Insider]

NASA has been trying to launch the SLS rocket with its Orion spacecraft since early August, but continued problems with fuel leaks had kept the rocket on Launch Pad 39B — until Hurricane Ian forced the rocket back into the VAB.

Because the rocket was rolled back though, the Artemis I mission will now likely not happen until November.

Engineers are now preparing for additional inspections.

NASA is looking at a launch period that opens on Nov. 12 and closes on Nov. 27. The space agency said focusing on a November launch period also allows for Kennedy Space Center employees to have time to address any post-storm needs.

A more specific date for the launch will be determined after managers assess how much work needs to be done in the VAB.

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.