NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher as it returns to the Vehicle Assembly Building from Launch Pad 39B, Sept. 27, 2022. Photo: NASA
Teams at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida conducted initial inspections to assess potential impacts from Hurricane Ian. There was no damage to Artemis flight hardware, and facilities are in good shape with only minor water intrusion identified in a few locations.
Next, engineers will extend access platforms around the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to prepare for additional inspections and start preparation for the next launch attempt, including retesting the flight termination system.
As teams complete post-storm recovery operations, NASA has determined it will focus Artemis I launch planning efforts on the launch period that opens November 12 and closes November 27. Over the coming days, managers will assess the scope of work to perform while in the VAB and identify a specific date for the next launch attempt.
Focusing efforts on the November launch period allows time for employees at Kennedy to address the needs of their families and homes after the storm and for teams to identify additional checkouts needed before returning to the pad for launch.
With the Artemis I Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft safety in the Vehicle Assembly Building after rolling back from Launch Pad 39B NASA continued to prioritize its employees as Hurricane Ian approaches the Kennedy Space Center area.
Managers will review options on the extent of work that will be conducted in the VAB before returning to the launch pad or identifying the next opportunity for launch. Technicians will swap out batteries on the rocket’s flight termination system and retest the system prior to the next launch attempt.
At approximately 9:15 a.m. September 27, 2022 , NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission were secured inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center after a four-mile journey from Launch Pad 39B that began at 11:21 p.m. Monday, September 26 ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Ian.
After the storm h passed, teams conducted inspections to determine impacts at the center and establish a forward plan for the next launch attempt, including replacing the core stage flight termination system batteries and retesting the system to ensure it can terminate the flight if necessary for public safety in the event of an emergency during launch.
Source: NASA News