NASA Prepares for Hurricane Ian Arrival – Assesses Artemis I Forward Plan

A close-up view of the Artemis I Space Launch System rocket inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on September 20, 2021. Credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

With the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft safely parked in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) after rolling back from Launch Pad 39B Monday night, NASA continues to prioritize its personnel as Hurricane Ian approaches the Kennedy Space Center area. 

A “ride out” team will remain in a safe location at Kennedy throughout the storm to monitor center-wide conditions as part of NASA’s hurricane preparedness protocol. After the storm passes, this team will conduct an assessment of facilities, property, and equipment. Once it is deemed safe for additional employees to return to Kennedy, engineers will extend platforms to re-establish access to the rocket and spacecraft.  

Artemis managers will review options on the extent of work that will be conducted in the VAB before returning to the launch pad or identifying the next opportunity for launch. Technicians will swap out batteries on the rocket’s flight termination system and retest the system prior to the next launch attempt.