The Artemis I launch attempt is set for Tuesday, but a possible hurricane could delay plans

The Artemis I launch attempt is set for Tuesday, but a possible hurricane could delay plans

NASA said Friday that it is planning its third Artemis I launch attempt on Sept. 27 after canceling the initial effort earlier this month.

During a press conference, officials said the launch window will open at 11:37 am ET, but Tropical Depression Nine could delay plans.

MORE: Artemis I Lunar Mission Ready to Launch: What You Need to Know

Currently, there is only a 20% chance of favorable weather on Tuesday, as Tropical Depression Nine heads to Florida and could land as a major hurricane next week.

However, Tom Whitmeyer, NASA’s deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development, said the team does not assume the launch will be canceled yet.

PHOTO: NASA's Artemis 1 moon rocket sits on Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center, September 6, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida (John Raoux / AP)

PHOTO: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket sits on Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center, September 6, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida (John Raoux / AP)

“It’s still tropical depression number nine, it’s not a named storm,” Whitmeyer told reporters. “We really want to keep trying to get as much information as possible so we can make the best possible hardware decision.”

The team said it will continue to monitor the weather and decide on Saturday whether to continue with Tuesday’s launch.

NASA had to cancel the first launch attempt on August 29 due to a faulty temperature sensor and the second attempt on September 3 due to a leak of liquid hydrogen.

Since then, engineers and mission managers have been running tests to make sure the rocket was ready on its next attempt.

In a press release, NASA said the Artemis team encountered a hydrogen leak during a test performed on Wednesday, but the problem has been addressed and fixed.

MORE: NASA tests drive its latest rover to “pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet”

The tanking process, which includes filling the rocket’s central stage with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, was also successful.

“We have done a very successful tank test on all of the tanks,” John Blevins, chief engineer of NASA’s space launch system, said at the news conference. “We were able to do some things that we won’t have to do again, some things we intended to do on launch day that were left over from the previous dress rehearsals. So, it was a great success.”

If the launch is canceled on September 27, the next launch attempt will take place on Sunday October 2.

PHOTO: The Artemis I moon rocket sits on Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, September 06, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida (Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images)

PHOTO: The Artemis I moon rocket sits on Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, September 06, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida (Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images)

If October 2 is also a ban, the rocket will be returned to the Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building until the team decides on the next date.

During the Artemis missions, NASA plans to eventually send the first female astronaut and the first black astronaut to the moon.

The federal space agency also plans to establish a moon base as a stepping stone to send astronauts to Mars by 2024 or 2025.

The Artemis I launch attempt is set for Tuesday, but a possible hurricane could delay plans that originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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