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NASA cancels Artemis I launch attempt, but will delay roll back decision

Photo of SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft.

Enlarge / NASA’s Space Launch System rocket may be rolling back to the Vehicle Assembly Building on Sunday night, or maybe not. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann)

NASA on Saturday announced that it will no longer attempt to launch its Artemis I mission on Tuesday, September 27, as Tropical Storm Ian continues developing in the Caribbean Sea.

Instead of preparing the massive Space Launch System rocket for liftoff in three days, teams at Kennedy Space Center in Florida will instead start to configure the ground systems and vehicle for a potential roll back to a large hangar, the Vehicle Assembly Building. Sheltering inside this building would protect the $4 billion rocket and Orion spacecraft from any foul weather due to Ian.

Earlier, NASA had said it would make a decision by Saturday afternoon on whether to roll the Artemis I mission back inside the hangar. However, in its announcement on Saturday the agency said it would now make that decision on Sunday.

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