DIRECT STRIKE TO LC-39B: ARTEMIS I VEHICLE ON THE PAD
On the evening of April 2, 2022, Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center experienced two direct lightning strikes, one negative polarity flash with three strokes and one single-stroke positive polarity flash. These events occurred with the first Space Launch System vehicle on the pad in preparation for the Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal. The positive stroke had peak return stroke current in excess of 100 kA. Since the lightning instrumentation was deployed at LC-39B in 2011, this was only the second positive polarity event to strike inside the pad perimeter.
Data from the LC-39B lightning instrumentation system have not yet been released, however, SLS operates an independent network of lightning monitoring systems for all active launch complexes at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Our Jupiter OLS systems captured high-speed video data for all direct attachments to LC-39B.
The video shows the direct strike to the LC-39B catenary wire system in addition to two daylight clear sky reference image overlays.