NASA postpones Artemis launch due to Tropical Storm Ian

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Concerns over Tropical Storm Ian approaching Florida as a hurricane next week have caused NASA officials to call off Tuesday’s scheduled launch of the Artemis I rocket from Cape Canaveral, officials said Saturday.

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During a meeting Saturday morning, NASA officials decided to halt the launch date, giving teams time to configure systems for rolling back the spacecraft to the Vehicle Assembly building, WFTV reported.

“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 said in a news release.

According to a news release, engineers delayed a final decision about the rollback to Sunday, which will allow teams to gather additional data and analysis, WFTV reported.

It is the third delay in the past month for the lunar-orbiting test flight, according to The Associated Press. Hydrogen fuel leaks and other technical issues caused the previous postponement, the news organization reported.

A successful tanking test was conducted Wednesday on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, according to WFTV.

The tanking test was done by crews who filled the rocket with super cold fuel to look for potential leaks.

Tropical Storm Ian is expected to rapidly strengthen to a hurricane by Sunday, and is forecast to impact the Florida peninsula as early as Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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