After a first failed attempt earlier this week, NASA will try again on Saturday to launch its mega-rocket to the Moon, for a test mission which is to launch its new flagship program, Artemis, fifty years after the last Apollo flight.
Tens of thousands of spectators hope that their wait will be rewarded with an impressive spectacle: the orange and white rocket SLS, which will be its maiden flight from launch pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is the most powerful in the world.
Takeoff is scheduled for 2:17 p.m. local time (6:17 p.m. GMT), and remains possible during the following two hours if necessary.
Weather conditions are 60% favorable at the start of this shooting window, then gradually improve to 80%.
“Our team is ready, they are better at every attempt,” said Jeremy Parsons, ground equipment manager at the space center, on Friday. If the weather and material conditions are met, “it is clear that we will take off”.
In the event of a new impediment on Saturday, take-off could possibly be rescheduled for Monday or Tuesday. It will then be necessary to wait until September 19 at the earliest, because of the positions of the Earth and the Moon.