Artemis I survives hurricane and prepares for first test flight

(ORDO NEWS) — NASA’s Space Launch System launch vehicle needs only minor repairs after Hurricane Nicole. The rocket is on the launch pad and preparing for its first test flight, which is scheduled for next week, NASA said.

“Right now, there’s nothing stopping us from making a launch attempt on Wednesday,” said Jim Free, NASA Associate Administrator.

Winds during Thursday’s hurricane did not exceed the rocket’s design limits, Free said, and admitted that if the launch team had known ahead of time that a hurricane was coming, they would likely have kept the rocket indoors.

Wind gusts reached 160 km/h at the top of the launch tower, but were nowhere near as strong below the rocket.

NASA had planned to launch early Monday morning but delayed it by two days due to a storm.

Previous launch attempts were canceled due to fuel leaks. In late September, NASA was forced to postpone the launch and return the rocket to the hangar due to Hurricane Ian.

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