Skip to main content

NASA targets new date for maiden launch of its mega moon rocket

NASA is now targeting Monday, November 14, for the maiden launch of its next-generation Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

Technical problems caused the space agency to call off launch attempts in late August and early September, while Hurricane Ian disrupted plans for a potential launch effort late last month, culminating in the team rolling the rocket to shelter to protect it from the strong winds.

NASA said on Wednesday that a 69-minute launch window opens at 12:07 a.m. ET on November 14.

“Inspections and analyses over the previous week have confirmed minimal work is required to prepare the rocket and spacecraft to roll out to Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida following the roll-back due to Hurricane Ian,” NASA said in a release.

It added: “Teams will perform standard maintenance to repair minor damage to the foam and cork on the thermal protection system and recharge or replace batteries on the rocket, several secondary payloads, and the flight termination system.”

The current plan is to roll the SLS rocket from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad as early as Friday, November 4.

The highly anticipated Artemis I test flight will see the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built propel an uncrewed Orion spacecraft toward the moon for a fly-by of the lunar surface. If it gets away on November 14, the mission would last about three-and-a-half weeks, ending with splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on December 9.

If Artemis I is deemed a success, Artemis II will take the same path but with astronauts on board. Artemis III, which could take place as early as 2025, will endeavor to put the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface in what will also be the first astronaut landing since the final Apollo mission in 1972.

NASA said that if it’s unable to launch the SLS rocket on November 14, there are back-up launch opportunities for Wednesday, November 16, at 1:04 a.m. ET, and Saturday, November 19, at 1:45 a.m. ET, both of which offer two-hour launch windows.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
NASA shares Orion moon video on anniversary of iconic Earthrise image
As Earthrise as seen from the Orion spacecraft in 2022.

NASA has shared some incredible footage showing Earth rising behind the moon.

It was captured on November 28 as Orion orbited our nearest neighbor during the Artemis I test mission, which saw the first flight of NASA’s next-generation Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

Read more
Watch 25-day Orion mission squeezed into just 60 seconds
NASA's Orion spacecraft as it flies by the moon.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has shared a cinematic video that encapsulates the recent Artemis I mission in just 60 seconds.

That’s packing a lot in for a voyage that lasted 25 days, but we’re sure you’ll agree, the presentation does a great job in pulling together the mission’s key moments while also including some of the mesmerizing imagery captured by the Orion spacecraft during its rendezvous with the moon.

Read more
NASA shares new footage in Artemis I mission highlights reel
nasa new footage artemis i mission highlights reel orion homecoming

Artemis I Mission Highlights

NASA has released a video (above) featuring highlights from its successful Artemis I mission, which ended on Sunday with the homecoming of the Orion spacecraft.

Read more