After Hurricane Nicole, will NASA be ready for Artemis launch?

Space center cleared for operations

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – Kennedy Space Center got through Hurricane Nicole with minor damage so far, according to NASA officials, who say a top-down inspection of the Artemis I moon rocket will take place soon.

The space center was deemed “weather safe” by officials on Thursday.

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Some minor damage was found by the center’s rideout crew, including tears in weather coverings and loose caulk at Launch Pad 39B, where the Space Launch Systems rocket weathered the storm.

NASA said wind sensors showed peak gusts during the storm of 82 mph at the 60-foot level. Earlier this week NASA said the rocket could sustain 85 mph winds. NASA decided to leave the rocket on the launch pad because it was deemed too risky with the winds to move it to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Crews will now conduct onsite “walkdown” inspections of the rocket before a targeted launch date next Wednesday.

KSC officials say they are also focused on getting their employees back for launch operations, with many dealing with post-storm cleanup and no power at home.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.