NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket was to launch over a month ago, but was delayed not once but twice because of engine issues and fuel leaks.
NASA’s moon rocket returned to the safety of its hangar Tuesday as Hurricane Ian approached Florida, its launch now unlikely before mid-November.
Instead of trying to send it on its first test flight, the launch team moved the 322-foot (98-meter) rocket off the pad at Kennedy Space Center. The four-mile (6.4-kilometer) trip took all night.
NASA official Jim Free said it would be difficult to upgrade the rocket and get it back to the pad for an October launch attempt. Putting in fresh batteries is particularly challenging, Free noted, making it doubtful a launch could be attempted before the mid-to-late October launch period closes. The next two-week window would open on Nov. 12.
The Space Launch System rocket should have blasted off a month ago, but was delayed twice by fuel leaks and engine issues.