CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WHNT) — NASA has pushed back the launch of Artemis I as it continues to monitor Tropical Storm Nicole.
NASA announced it moved the launch, which was originally set for Nov. 14, back to Wednesday, Nov. 16. Artemis I will have a two-hour launch window starting at 1:04 a.m EST.
This change means the splashdown would occur on Friday, Dec. 11. There is one more backup launch date on Saturday, Nov. 19 if conditions are still not favorable for launch on Wednesday.
The choice to re-target the launch for Wednesday is pending, as officials await conditions that are safe enough for employees to return to work and inspections after the storm.
Kennedy Space Center is currently under a hurricane condition III status, which means facilities, property, and equipment must be secured. A team of personnel has been assigned within the center to remain in a safe place and monitor conditions and the hardware that will be used for the Artemis I launch.
NASA says adjusting the launch date back to Wednesday, Nov. 16 will “allow the workforce to tend to the needs of their families and homes, and provide sufficient logistical time to get back into launch status following the storm.”
Officials decided on Sunday after looking at the expected weather conditions for next week and the options they had that it would be safest to keep the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft secured at the launch pad.