With the Artemis 1 launch site in the predicted path of Hurricane Ian, NASA has decided not to take any chances with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft. The agency will roll them back to the safety of the Vehicle Assembly Building, starting at around 11PM ET this evening. You’ll be able to watch the rollback on NASA’s ongoing Artemis 1 livestream below.
“Managers met Monday morning and made the decision based on the latest weather predictions associated with Hurricane Ian, after additional data gathered overnight did not show improving expected conditions for the Kennedy Space Center area,” NASA said in a statement. “The decision allows time for employees to address the needs of their families and protect the integrated rocket and spacecraft system.”
Although an SLS fueling test that took place last week was successful, NASA was forced to scrub a planned September 27th launch due to the threat of the hurricane. If the agency is unable to launch Artemis 1 before October 3rd (which seems unlikely at this point), it won’t be able to make another attempt until the next window opens on October 17th.