Nasa's next-generation moon rocket, the Space Launch System, ready for launch of the Artemis 1 mission at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Reuters / File
Nasa has called off the scheduled Tuesday launch of its historic uncrewed mission to the Moon due to a tropical storm that is forecast to strengthen as it approaches Florida.
"Nasa is forgoing a launch opportunity... and preparing for rollback (from the launchpad), while continuing to watch the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian," it said on Saturday.
The US National Hurricane Center said Ian is due to "rapidly intensify" over the weekend as it moves toward Florida, home to the Kennedy Space Center, from which the rocket is set to launch.
A decision on whether to roll back the giant Space Launch System (SLS) rocket to the Vehicle Assembly Building is due to be taken by the Artemis 1 team on Sunday.
On the launch pad, the orange and white SLS rocket can withstand wind gusts of up to 137 kilometers per hour. But if it has to be sheltered, the current launch window, which runs until October 4, will be missed.
The next launch window will run from Oct.17 to 31, with one possibility of take-off per day, except from Oct.24-26 and 28.
The Artemis 1 space mission hopes to test the SLS as well as the unmanned Orion capsule that sits atop, in preparation for future Moon-bound journeys with humans aboard.
A successful Artemis 1 mission will come as a huge relief to the US space agency, after years of delays and cost overruns.
But another setback would be a blow to Nasa, after two previous launch attempts were scrapped when the rocket experienced technical glitches including a fuel leak.
The spacecraft's four solar panels, about 13 feet (four metres) long, deployed correctly and are providing more energy than expected, said Jim Geffre, the Orion manager at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Christina Koch, a NASA astronaut who holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, will be a mission specialist on next year's Artemis II flight around the Moon.
Artemis I is an uncrewed flight test to launch SLS and send Orion around the Moon and back to Earth to thoroughly test its system before flights with astronauts.
Cease-fire mediator Qatar said efforts are ongoing to renew the truce, which saw Israel pause most military activity in Gaza and release 300 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Palestinian group Hamas freeing over 100 hostages held in Gaza.
The emirate's delegation comprised the Sharjah Book Authority, Sharjah Literary Agency, Sharjah Department of Culture, Al Qasimi Publications, and Kalimat Group.
"You are the spirit of the union. You are its present and future. I pray to Allah Almighty to bless you and our nation with continued security, progress and prosperity," Sheikh Mohammed said.
In another homage to the UAE, Egyptian couple Manal Mohamed and Mahmoud Muhareb rang in UAE National Day with the birth of baby Zayed exactly at 12:00am, weighing 3.810 kg. After two boys and two girls, Zayed is their fifth child.