A US space agency said Tuesday that it will be "difficult" for NASA to make a fresh attempt to launch its massive Moon rocket in October, with a lift-off in November becoming more likely.
The SLS rocket, NASA''s most powerful, had to be returned overnight to its storage hangar in order to protect it from Hurricane Ian''s approaching.
The next possible launch windows - determined according to the position of the Earth and the Moon - are from October 17 to 31, and from November 12 to 27.
"We know that the first it may go is in late October, but it''s more than likely we''ll go in the window in the middle of November," NASA head Bill Nelson said.
At a press conference, NASA associate administrator Jim Free was also asked about the rocket''s chances of doing a lift-off in October.
"I''m not confident we''ll take anything off the table," he said. "But it''s going to be difficult," he said.
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NASA will have to take the time to rebuild the rocket''s self-destructing capabilities after the hurricane passed, which will be carried out in the storage hangar.
The rocket, which is 98 meters high (320 feet), will be relaunched and transported to its launch pad, before configuring it for launch.
The latest failure will therefore halt the launch of the long-awaited Artemis 1 mission.
Two launch attempts had already been canceled at the last minute, at the end of August and then at the beginning of September, due to technical difficulties, including a leak when filling the rocket''s tanks with fuel.
Artemis 1 will be used to ensure that the Orion capsule, placed on the rocket''s top, is safe to transport a crew to the Moon in the future fifty years after its last mission.