Uh... is everyone okay?
Mother Nature can be a real bitch sometimes, and NASA experienced its sheer power last night when four lightning bolts hit the towers surrounding the Moon-bound Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket, superstar of the forthcoming Artemis I mission.
NASA posted a statement yesterday confirming that the strikes hit designated lightning towers, which sit around the perimeter of the Kennedy Space Center's launch pad. There's even video!
Although NASA didn't release the footage on either its official YouTube channel or the live feed of Artemis' final launch test on the space center's channel, a drone pilot published the footage on Twitter yesterday.
Watch below as a lightning strike hits close to the SLS, which NASA has been preparing for launch. It's unlikely the pilot captured the footage himself since it's watermarked by NASA, but he also tweeted a slow-mo version if you want to watch even more closely.
Lightning strikes the umbilical tower of NASA's new SLS rocket #Artemis #SLS #Lightning pic.twitter.com/lkuAzvUyLK
— Jerry Pike (@JerryPikePhoto) April 2, 2022
The Show Goes On
After checking the rocket and all systems, NASA determined it was safe to continue testing. The Artemis wet dress rehearsal is back on this morning which means crew will get to their stations, roll out the rocket and load tanks with propellant in a final pre-launch test before heading out in May.
It's not clear if anything will change about NASA's previous plan to continue without press, as journalists were barred earlier this week from watching the test. Don't stress too much, though, because NASA stans can still get live updates on Twitter from the Exploration Ground Systems' official account.