NASA investigating “very minor” Artemis hurricane damage

The initial inspections of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft mentions that there was only “very minor damage” to the vehicle after hurricane Nicole. The evidence of very minor damage is based on the launch pad cameras, which are remote inspections of the vehicles. These launch pad cameras recorded the entire process of the hurricane passing through the vehicles, and through playback, no major damage was found. Only some minor damages such as loose caulk and tears were caused by the weather coverings. 

Jim Free, which is the NASA associate administrator for exploration systems development, mentioned that the professional team would make additional onsite walk down inspections of the vehicles to check for any undetected damages. About the reason why the rocket and spacecraft were not carried back to the Vehicle Assembly Building, Jim Free explained, “they were well prepared for the highly uncertain weather, but due to unexpected changes in forecasts, they considered it was dangerous to return rocket and spacecraft to the Vehicle Assembly Building during a hurricane, so staying on the launch pad was the best option.” On the other hand, some sensors at the pad reported higher level gusts achieved 160 kilometers per hour, which exceeds the vehicle’s rated limit of 137 kilometers per hour. But Jim said that the maximum wind speed is only 132 kilometers per hour. 

Obviously, there is a contradiction, but we can’t know who is correct, because NASA has not provided any relevant evidence, and I think NASA should transport the rocket and spacecraft back to the Assembly Building before the hurricane rather than leaving it on the launch pad, and obviously this decision caused it to be damaged, even if the damage was small, but in my opinion, NASA should be foolproof, and ensure that no problems happened before launching, and launch on time. Otherwise, problems would not only cause launch delays, but also take more time and money to repair and fix.