A call to protect Artemis I mission from Hurricane Ian, NASA

  • 26-09-2022, 21:23
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    After delaying a final decision for two days, NASA made on Monday, the call to roll its massive Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft inside the Vehicle Assembly Building - VAB.
    The space agency took this precautionary step as the storm Ian intensified into a hurricane in the Caribbean Sea and remained on track to move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday.
    "Managers met on Monday’s morning and made the decision based on the latest weather predictions associated with Hurricane Ian, after additional data gathered overnight did not show improving expected conditions for the Kennedy Space Center area," NASA said in a blog post. "The decision allows time for employees to address the needs of their families and protect the integrated rocket and spacecraft system."
    NASA anticipates that the 10- to 12-hour movement of the Artemis I stack on a crawler will begin at about 11 pm ET on Monday. This would allow the vehicle to be snugly inside the towering Vehicle Assembly Building at least a full day before the earliest arrival of tropical storm force winds along the Space Coast.
    According to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center, there is a 60 percent chance of tropical storm force winds (39 mph or greater) in the vicinity of Kennedy Space Center due to Ian. There is a 6 percent chance of sustained hurricane-force winds, which would likely cause significant damage to the vehicles if they were left on the pad.