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The Artemis 1 mission, which is expected to launch a space mission into a mission shell around the moon, has yet to be delayed, with NASA’s Space Launch System dealing with Tropical Storm Nicole, which is now expected to strengthen in the winds before reaching Florida. Eastern quarter.
The space agency had attempted to launch the mission on November 4th, but now on November 16th, “pending safe conditions for employees to return to work, as well as inspections after the storm has passed,” NASA said in a statement Tuesday evening. . November 16 would provide a two-hour launch window starting at 1:04 am ET.
The rocket, often called the SLS, is sitting on its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center, which lies just north of where the center of the storm is expected to fall to Earth, CNN astrologer Brandon Miller noted. That area will mean you can expect some of the strongest winds and the system will bring.
If it is a 75-mile-per-hour (120-kph) Category 1 hurricane, as predicted, gusts could range between 80 and 90 miles per hour (130 to 145 kph), according to Miller. It could mean the rocket will be buffeted by higher winds than the established limits of what the rocket can withstand. Officials said the SLS is designed to withstand gusts of up to 85 miles per hour (137 kph).
“In addition, the National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida, predicted maximum gusts of 86 miles per hour early Thursday morning,” Miller added. “Yes, it is entirely possible that hurricane-force winds will exceed that threshold.”
The latest report from the National Hurricane Center also gives a 15% chance that Cocos Beach, which is located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south, will sustain sustained winds.
But officials at NASA said in a statement that “forecasts indicate that the biggest risks to the block are high winds that are not expected to exceed the SLS design.”
“The launch pad is designed to withstand rain and the boat enclosure is protected against water intrusion,” he continues.
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The space agency decided to roll the SLS rocket to its launchpad next week, while the weather was still there an unnamed reason for mixing on the East Coast. At this time, officials had expected this storm to bring sustained winds of about 25 knots (29 miles per hour) with gusts of up to 40 knots (46 miles per hour), which were thought to be within the predetermined limits. That’s what a rocket can withstand, according to comments from Mark Burger, a weather officer with the US Space Force’s 45th Weather Wing, at a NASA news conference on November 3.
“The National Hurricane Center only has a 30% chance of becoming a named storm,” Burger said last Thursday. “However, as I said, the models are very consistent in developing a certain low pressure.”
But the storm in the named system grew on Monday, three days after the rocket was brought down to the launchpad.
The storm’s strength is unusual, as Nicole is expected to be the first hurricane to hit in November in nearly 40 years.
To prepare for the storm, NASA said its teams could lower the Orion spacecraft, which sits atop the SLS rocket, as well as the rocket’s side boosters and other components.
“Firefighters also installed a hard cover on the window of the abort system, retracted and provided access to the arm of the crew in the mobile engine and configured the settings for the control system in space and rocket environmental elements,” according to the statement. “Teams are also close to winning hardware and walk-throughs for potential debris in the area.”
Kennedy Space Center announced on its Twitter feed As of Tuesday, it is in “HURRICANE 3 status” and continues to run ahead of the upcoming storm with prudent precautions throughout all of our programs, activities and workforce in advance of the storm.
Preparations for HURICON III include “acquiring facilities, items and equipment” as well as a vehicle deployment team, which is the staff that will be on site to assess the damage.
The SLS rocket had been shelved for weeks after problems with a fuel leak prevented the first two launch attempts and then Hurricane Ian swept through Florida, forcing the rocket to launch in September.
Officials at NASA returned the rocket to the launchpad last week with a target of operating at a third energy launch on November 14. It is not clear how or if the storm will affect those plans.
The overall goal of NASA’s Artemis program is to return humans to the moon for the first time in half a century. And the Artemis 1 mission – expected to be the first of many – will lay the groundwork, testing rockets and spaceships and all their support to ensure they are safe enough for astronauts to fly to the moon and back.
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