Shocking! FIRE breaks out near explosive NASA Artemis 1 moon rocket
NASA removed Artemis 1 moon rocket from its launch pad for safety as the weather forecast indicated the horrifyingly strong Hurricane Ian's arrival. Team members operating Artemis 1 rolled the stack from Kennedy Space Center's (KSC) Launch Pad 39B to the facility's Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). As reported by Space.com, Artemis 1 completed the nearly 10-hour trip to the VAB at about 9:15 a.m. EDT (1315 GMT) on Sept. 27. However, the emergency for NASA Artemis 1 moon rocket escalated as a fire broke out inside the building.
"Employees were evacuated, and there are no reported injuries. The VAB is fire safe, and the Artemis 1 vehicle was not at risk," KSC officials shared via Tweet. KSC Director Janet Petro giving more details on the same stated, "I'm told it was a 40-volt electrical panel on the wall of the High Bay 3 that caught fire." She also shared that the cause of the incident is under investigation.
As reported, Artemis 1 will launch an uncrewed Orion capsule to the moon by using a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. NASA was supposed to launch the mission on September 7 itself, but due to the arrival of Hurricane Ian, the US space agency had to cancel the launch.
As shared by NASA, the mission team will carry out some task on the Artemis 1 stack while it's in the VAB. The new target launch date is yet to be confirmed as any liftoff before November looks unlikely at this point.
"I won't write it off, but it is going to be difficult," Jim Free, associate administrator for NASA's Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, said during a media briefing, referring to an October launch.
Artemis 1 is the first mission of NASA's Artemis program and will be the first launch of the SLS as well. NASA is planning to send astronauts around the moon in Artemis 2 in 2024 while Artemis 3 will step down on the ground near the lunar south pole a year or so later, if Artemis 1 will be successful.