NASA: Artemis is still a go despite several lightning strikes near the launchpad

·2 min read

NASA officials said things appear to be on schedule for Monday’s launch of Artemis I, despite some tense moments after several lightning strikes near the launch pad Saturday afternoon.

Crews worked throughout the night testing systems on the SLS and other parts of the spacecraft, ensuring there wasn’t any damage.

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Read: Official countdown for Artemis I mission has begun

NASA test director Jeff Spalding said the 600-foot lightning towers near the launch pad did their job, keeping lightning away from the rocket and spacecraft.

“Clearly the system worked as designed,” Spaulding said.

Read: Official countdown for Artemis I mission has begun

He said at least five separate hits near the pad during Saturday’s storms caused some concerns but after running several tests, crews found the hits weren’t strong enough to delay a launch Monday.

“We have a threshold that we look at to see what the magnitude of these strikes are and we did not meet that criteria to have to do an intensive or invasive retest,” Spaulding said.

Read: ‘Eyes on the skies’: Visitors head to the Space Coast ahead of Artemis I launch

In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center on August 17, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center on August 17, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard atop the mobile launcher is seen on the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard atop the mobile launcher is seen on the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as the crew access arm is swung into position for rollout to Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as the crew access arm is swung into position for rollout to Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 16, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher as it moves up the ramp at Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 17, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher as it moves up the ramp at Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 17, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 17, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 17, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 17, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In this handout image provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center on August 17, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

NASA will continue to monitor the weather very closely but for now, the countdown to launch will continue.

We are trying to be proactive and looking ahead and adjusting as required, Spaulding said.

Read: Artemis I: 9 things to know about NASA’s mission to return humans to the moon

The Artemis I mission is set to launch with a two-hour window scheduled to open at 8:33 a.m.

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