In the face of a storm looming menacingly over the Florida coast, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is again delaying the launch of its new Moon rocket.
Earlier fuel leakage kept the rocket grounded in August, then hurricane Ian forced the rocket back to the hangar at Kennedy Space Center in late September, AP reported.
NASA decided to return the rocket to the launch pad last week, and it was aiming for a launch attempt early Monday. On Tuesday, the space agency further decided to postpone the launch of the moon rocket to next Wednesday (November 16) because of Tropical Storm Nicole, which is anticipated to make landfall at Florida’s Atlantic coastline as a Category 1 hurricane over the next few days, according to the report.
Although the Kennedy Space Center is facing a storm warning, NASA has kept the rocket at the launch pad. The rocket is designed to withstand heavy rains and high wind, NASA said.
As per the report, the $4.1 billion mission will send an empty crew capsule around the moon and back in a flight test before astronauts climb aboard in a couple years.
It is NASA’s biggest step yet to get astronauts back on the moon by 2025.
The US space agency is inching toward its 50th anniversary of the landing of the last human moon: Apollo on December 17, 1972.
(With agency inputs)