NASA Artemis Discussion

If I know my ‘James Franciscus trapped in space’ movies, it’s okay to launch during a hurricane anyway. I mean it sounds like a problem, but it turns out it’s just fine.

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I think I agree with you here. I see it as a “lesser of two evils” situation. On the one hand, government bloat and bureaucracy, overpromising and underdelivering, political bickering, etc. On the other hand, “move fast and break things,” pursuit of profit, and, well, Musk (and Bezos).

I think commercialization and hard science are fundamentally incompatible, so for me the scale still tips to NASA. Take your time, get it right.

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No official announcement yet on NASA’s Artemis blog, but the Space Force has granted the waiver for the launch window next week!

Naturally, Tropical Depression Nine is now brewing in the Caribbean, and could scuttle the attempt.

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Ugh. Just hearing ‘Space Force’ makes me cringe. I hate that NASA has to ask them for permission.

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Seconded

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I think Space Force should police more of the satellite launches rather than NASA.

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Teams Monitoring Weather While Protecting Option for Artemis I Launch

Sep 23, 2022 at 6:54 PM

NASA is monitoring the forecast associated with the formation of a tropical depression in the Caribbean Sea while in parallel continuing to prepare for a potential launch opportunity on Tuesday, Sept. 27 during a 70-minute window that opens at 11:37 a.m. EDT.

The decision whether or not Artemis I needs to be rolled back to the barn to ride out a storm will be made in the next twenty-four hours. Based on the current forecast models, I wouldn’t bet on a launch during this window. In fact, I’d keep your fingers crossed that there’s another attempt before the end of the year.

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Yeah I’ve been watching that storm path. They got lucky Fiona veered north (though Canada isn’t feeling very fortunate).

This next one seems to be aiming right for central Florida. The bigger question is, can they get it rolled back in time …

I’m not worried about that unless the crawler-transporter suffers a catastrophic failure; NASA has plenty of experience rolling vehicles in out of the weather, and hurricane forecasting has come a long way. I’m more concerned about ground service equipment and any damage to the VAB that could impinge upon its interior.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/artemis/2022/09/24/artemis-i-managers-wave-off-sept-27-launch-preparing-for-rollback/

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Can’t say I blame them with the weather that’s coming.

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Let’s see (checks Artemis I Mission Availability 2022-23 list)… The next good launch opportunities are around Halloween — October 27, 29, 30, and 31 — provided there’s no major damage to ground infrastructure by the storm. Though NASA could launch as early as October 17 if it’s willing to conduct a shorter mission (26-28 days) rather than the longer one (38-42 days) it would like to.

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Shorter mission means Boeing will ask for another mission to do the things they missed out on and will cost more money. I think Zubrin has it right on the legacy government contractors. If they drag things out, they keep getting money. Not finishing is part of the business plan.

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There’s a reason one unofficial name for the SLS is the “Senatorial Launch System.”

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NASA Closely Monitoring Weather While Rollback Preparations Continue

Sep 25, 2022 at 10:53 am

NASA continues to closely monitor the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian as preparations for rolling back the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to the Vehicle Assembly Building continue. The agency is making incremental decisions that prioritize the agency’s people and hardware and its process is in accordance with established NASA policies for tropical storms and hurricanes.

NASA continues to play this situation by ear. It seems like it really doesn’t want to roll Artemis I back to the VAB unless there’s a clear threat to the vehicle, preserving the possibility of a launch attempt on October 2 as long as possible.

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Weather Monitoring and Rollback Preparations Continue

Sep 25, 2022 at 8:11 PM

NASA continues to closely monitor the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian while conducting final preparations to allow for rolling back the Artemis I Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Managers met Sunday evening to review the latest information on the storm from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Space Force, and the National Hurricane Center and decided to meet again Monday to allow for additional data gathering overnight before making the decision on roll back. NASA continues to prioritize its people while protecting the Artemis I rocket and spacecraft system.

The current models have Tropical Storm Ian trending in a more westerly direction than previously, so Cape Canaveral might yet escape the worst of the wind and rain. Stay tuned!

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NASA has decided to roll back to the VAB tonight.

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NASA to Roll Artemis I Rocket and Spacecraft Back to VAB Tonight

Sep 26, 2022 at 9:17 AM

NASA will roll the Artemis I Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft back to the Vehicle Assembly Building on Monday, Sept. 26. First motion is targeted for 11 p.m. EDT.

Edit: jinx!

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Probably a smart decision. Even when we think we know the track, hurricanes can change at the last minute. I know they were hoping to not have to do that, but they really should have known they would need to do that.

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At least they’ll have plenty of time to recharge or replace the flight termination system batteries. An early October launch is now off the table.

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