NASA cancels moon rocket launch due to hurricane warning

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The launch of NASA's new moon rocket Artemis I has been delayed for "a few weeks" due to worries about a tropical storm that is likely to intensify into a major hurricane.

The space agency's flagship lunar shuttle, which was originally scheduled to participate in an unmanned test mission on September 9, has already experienced a third delay in the previous month.

It was claimed that the earlier cancellations were due to hydrogen fuel leaks and other technical difficulties.

Given the unpredictability of the weather, NASA decided on Saturday to cancel the scheduled launch attempt for Tuesday in favour of preparing the 322-foot-tall rocket for a potential trip back to its hangar.

The last opportunity to fire a rocket before a two-week blackout period would be on October 2, if the rocket stays on the launch pad.

But a reversal late on Sunday or early on Monday would probably result in a protracted postponement of the test flight, maybe until November.

The action is being taken as the space agency plans to send a second crew of astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972 in an effort to show how far space travel has advanced since that time.

Uncrewed, the current 38-day journey will go 40,000 miles beyond the moon and back; but, it must be successful in order for astronauts to board the 2024 second test flight.

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