NASA’s Artemis I Moon rocket withstands stormy winds before launch, detects minor damage

According to an initial NASA examination of the storm’s aftermath, the new moon rocket is worth $4 billion (about Rs 32,280.

Wind gusts of 85 mph (136.8 km/h) measured by sensors at launch pad hundreds of meters above ground, with gusts of up to 100 mph, limited test of the rocket’s design 32 stage and pose an additional risk to a spacecraft already besieged by technical problems that delayed its maiden launch.

From NASA Wind sensor readings are made available online to the public by the US National Weather Service. US space agency officials say the rocket is designed to withstand winds of up to 85 km/h on the launch pad.

In a brief message posted on Twitter by Jim Free, NASA’s Deputy Administrator, the agency acknowledged wind sensor readings from 60 feet of gusts peaking at 82mph.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported Nicole’s maximum sustained wind speed on land at 75mph, accompanied by stronger gusts, as it made landfall before dawn on Thursday south of China’s launch pad. Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.

Instead of trying to roll large volumes Space launch system The rocket (SLS) returned to its hangar before the storm hit, NASA chose to shoot down the vehicle at the launch pad where it arrived last week when Nicole appeared in the forecast for a tropical storm.

SLS and its Orion capsule are being prepared for a third launch – after two canceled countdowns at the end of the summer – that will mark their highly anticipated maiden flight and first mission in the chapter. NASA’s Artemis Moon Explorer.

NASA engineers reasoned that trying to transport the giant rocket, a 12-hour job, in high winds as the storm was approaching was too risky.

“Camera inspection revealed very minor damage such as loose sheets and tearing of the weather cover,” Free, who oversees much of the agency’s Artemis program, tweeted Thursday afternoon. “The team will soon conduct further on-site checks on the vehicle.”

NASA introduced SLS to its launch pad last Thursday for a planned November 14 take-off, aiming to make a much-delayed first test flight to the moon without any problems. any human on board.

Mark Burger, weather officer at Cape Canaveral Space Station’s 45th Weather Squadron, said: “Even at the time, there was always concern that somewhere beyond the Caribbean would be a favorable area. for at least some development of tropical systems. .

“Of course, there was nothing there at the time, so you can just go with the probabilistic aspect,” he added.

Nicole took shape like a potential tropical storm when the SLS reached the beach, about 4 miles from where it was stored inside the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building. NASA on Tuesday postponed the rocket’s target launch date to November 16, when weather officials predicted Nicole would develop into a hurricane.

A NASA spokesman said on Thursday the agency did not rule out the possibility of a November 16 launch, but added, “It’s too early to confirm a launch date while we’re just starting to put staff on board.” out to check.”

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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