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Nasa: Hurricane "Ian" could whirl up further NASA's launch plan


Nasa is still sticking to the launch of a crew to the International Space Station in early October – but the storm could disrupt plans. For the rocket system of "Artemis" it is meanwhile going back to the hangar.

Enlarge image

Cosmonaut Anna Kikina trains in the simulator of the Russian segment of the ISS for the upcoming mission

Photo: Valery Sharifulin / ITAR-TASS / IMAGO

After the "Artemis" moon mission, another NASA launch could fall victim to Hurricane "Ian": the departure of the next crew to the International Space Station ISS.

October 3rd is still being targeted as the launch date, said Kathy Lueders, head of manned spaceflight at the US space agency Nasa.

"But we also know that we have to work our way through the weather here at the Kennedy Space Center." The next possible alternative dates are October 4th or 5th, it said.

The "Crew-5" consists of the NASA astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann and her NASA colleague Josh Cassada as well as the Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and the Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina.

You will spend around five months on board the ISS.

According to current forecasts, Hurricane Ian could make landfall in Florida around the middle of this week.

Based on these predictions, NASA had already postponed the test launch of the “Artemis” moon mission, which was actually planned for Tuesday, and instead ordered the rocket system to be moved back to the hangar.

Managers made the decision based on weather forecasts related to "Ian" after additional data showed no improvement in expected conditions for the Kennedy Space Center area.

The authority announced this on its website.

The decision gives employees time to look after their families and protect the integrated missile and space system.

The problem-plagued moon mission "Artemis" is still under time pressure, because the current launch window closes on October 4th, according to Nasa.

A further planning window provides for a possible launch of the rocket between 17th and 31st October.

About three weeks ago, two attempts to start the car failed – partly because of a leaking tank hose.

Problems had also arisen in earlier »Artemis« tests, which ultimately led to the first major delay in the project.

The hurricane continued to gain strength as it made its way toward Cuba.

The hurricane reached category 3 of 5 on Tuesday night (local time), according to the US Hurricane Center (NHC).

With wind speeds of up to 185 kilometers per hour, life-threatening storm surges, hurricanes, flash floods and landslides threatened in the west of the Caribbean island.

According to reports, on Monday evening (local time) there were floods in coastal areas in western Cuba and power outages in places.

Meteorologists expect that "Ian" will head for Cuba on the Florida coast in the USA and even reach magnitude 4, where they warn of storm surges this Wednesday.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-09-27

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