ARTEMIS UPDATE: NASA Foregoing Launch Opportunity Sept. 27, Preparing for Rollback to VAB Due to Tropical Storm Ian

If Artemis managers elect to roll back, it would begin late Sunday night or early Monday morning

NASA is foregoing a launch opportunity Tuesday, Sept. 27, and preparing for rollback, while continuing to watch the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian. During a meeting Saturday morning, teams decided to stand down on preparing for the Tuesday launch date to allow them to configure systems for rolling back the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to the Vehicle Assembly Building. (NASA image)

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – NASA is foregoing a launch opportunity Tuesday, Sept. 27, and preparing for rollback, while continuing to watch the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian.

During a meeting Saturday morning, teams decided to stand down on preparing for the Tuesday launch date to allow them to configure systems for rolling back the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Engineers deferred a final decision about the roll to Sunday, Sept. 25, to allow for additional data gathering and analysis. If Artemis I managers elect to roll back, it would begin late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

The agency is taking a step-wise approach to its decision-making process to allow the agency to protect its employees by completing a safe roll in time for them to address the needs of their families while also protecting for the option to press ahead with another launch opportunity in the current window if weather predictions improve.

NASA continues to rely on the most up-to-date information provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Space Force, and the National Hurricane Center.

WATCH: NASA held a media teleconference on Friday to discuss the cryogenic demonstration test conducted Wednesday ahead of the next Artemis I launch attempt.

Briefing participants included:

■ Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator, Common Exploration Systems Development, NASA Headquarters
■ Brad McCain, vice president and general manager, Jacobs Space Operations Group
John Blevins, SLS chief engineer, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

The four main objectives met during the demonstration were assessing the repair to address the hydrogen leak identified on the previous launch attempt, loading propellants into the rocket’s tanks using new procedures to transition changes in temperature and pressure more slowly to reduce the likelihood of leaks, conducting the kick-start bleed, and performing a pre-pressurization test.

Managers waved off two previous launch attempts, one on Aug. 29 due to a faulty temperature sensor and one on Sept. 3 due to a liquid hydrogen leak at an interface between the rocket and mobile launcher.

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