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Weather Looks Good For Saturday Artemis Launch Attempt
Weather Looks Good For Saturday Artemis Launch Attempt
Jul 20, 2024 12:12 AM

At a Glance

Weather is favorable for the two-hour launch windowTechnical issues could still cause a scrub.A backup window is set for Monday.

Weather looks good for the much-anticipated Artemis moon rocket launch from Florida's Kennedy Space Center Saturday, although storms could cause some early delays.

The two-hour opens at 2:17 p.m. EDT. Weather is 60% go at that point, with concerns over lightning and storms.

Launch Weather Officer Melody Lovin said in a briefing Friday morning that delays are possible, but that the weather isn't anticipated to be a "showstopper."

“I do to make some no-go calls at some point tomorrow," Lovin said. "However, as that East Coast sea breeze drifts farther inland we do expect clearing on the back side of that and that is the reason why we are trending the forecast to more of an 80% favorability at the end of the launch window tomorrow afternoon."

(MORE: Weather Key To Artemis Launch)

The weather squadron, based at near the launch site, is responsible for launch-day forecasts that can make or break a lift-off.

As of late Friday afternoon, the forecast hadn't changed.

People set up remote cameras near the Artemis I rocket on the launch pad behind them at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on September 1, 2022. - NASA will make a second attempt to launch its powerful new Moon rocket on September 3, after scrubbing a test flight earlier in the week. The highly anticipated uncrewed mission will bring the US a step closer to returning astronauts to the Moon five decades after humans last walked on the lunar surface. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)

(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Each launch has that must be met, including limits on temperature, clouds, lightning and winds. Some of the conditions are on the ground, some are in the atmosphere, and others are within a certain distance from the launch pad.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to watch the launch from . The most popular viewing sites are along beaches, causeways and Highway 1 in the Brevard County communities of Merritt Island, Titusville, Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach.

(MORE: NASA Will Build Weather Centers In Space During Artemis Missions)

Spectators can expect the to be hot and steamy, with temperatures in the upper 80s and high humidity. The UV index is forecast to be 9 out of 10, so sun protection will be important. Lightning could also be a danger.

Despite good weather, technical issues could still get in the way of a successful launch. A planned liftoff last Monday was due to a series of problems, the biggest being getting one of the engines to the right temperature.

NASA officials have repeatedly stressed that theis a test flight. If Saturday's attempt is scrubbed, a backup date is available Monday with a 90-minute windowing opening at 5:12 p.m. ET. Weather is also favorable then, Lovin said.

The mission of the massive Artemis rocket, officially called the or SLS for short, is to send an unmanned into orbit around the moon in preparation for taking humans back to the lunar surface within the next couple of years and, in the future, farther into deep space.

NASA says the SLS is its ever.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, .

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