Clear your plans for Saturday: NASA says we’re going to have a rocket launch.
The space agency has moved the date for the next Artemis I rocket launch attempt to September 3 after Friday’s initial plan was determined to run into adverse weather.
Officials told a media conference that there is a 60 percent chance of the launch being delayed due to weather on Friday. The two-hour launch window opens at 2:17PM.
This is NASA’s second launch of its massive next-generation rockets this week. Monday’s first launch was scrubbed after one of the four RS-25 engines failed to reach enough temperature to allow liftoff.
The Artemis I mission consisted of a 322-foot-tall Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with an Orion crew capsule on top. If the launch is successful, the 39-day mission will see SLS carry an uncrewed Orion to an altitude of just under 4,000 kilometers, the two craft will separate and the rocket’s main stage will return to Earth.
Orion continues toward the Moon, where it orbits for six days before returning to Earth. The capsule will splash into the ocean on October 11.
If all goes according to plan, it will mark the start of NASA’s Artemis program to return to the Moon, which has overcome years of delays, development risks and billions of dollars in budget cuts.