At Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Air
Force Base in California, NASA’s InSight, Mars lander is positioned atop a
United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on April 23, 2018. Photo credit: USAF
30th Space Wing/Leif Heimbold
NASA’s mission to study the deep interior of the Red Planet have been mated and stand ready for liftoff from
their California launch base later this week on Saturday, May 5, or Cinco De Mayo. Final prelaunch activities have begun.
has been encapsulated inside the payload fairing that will protect it from frictional
and atmospheric forces and been hoisted and bolted atop the United Launch
Alliance Atlas V rocket inside the gantry at Space Launch Complex 3 at
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
out this gallery of photos of the final processing steps to ready InSight for blastoff
Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight)
Mars Lander is transported to Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Air Force
Base in California. Photo credit: USAF 30th Space Wing/Daniel Herrera
of NASA’s InSight lander is slated for May 5 aboard a United Launch Alliance
(ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket. The first ever cubesats launching to the Red Planet are also aboard.
May 5 launch window extends for two hours and opens at 4:05 a.m. PDT (7:05 a.m. EDT) and remains open
through 6:05 a.m. PDT (9:05 a.m. EDT). The overall launch window to the Red
Planet lasts until June 8.
week activities have begun !
and launch officials gathered Monday for the InSight flight readiness review,”
NASA reported today, May 1.
team members take part in a countdown dress rehearsal.”
landing is scheduled for Nov. 26, 2018 at Elysium
Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission is to accomplish
an unprecedented study of the deep interior of the most Earth-like planet in
our solar system.
will be the first mission to look deep beneath the Martian surface, studying
the planet’s interior by listening for marsquakes and measuring the planet’s
Illustration of NASA’s
Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport
(InSight) Mars lander. Credits: NASA
designed and manufactured by prime contractor Lockheed Martin and
is responsible for testing, launch processing and spacecraft flight operations.
the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at SLC-3a and stands 188 feet (57.3 meters) tall.
The rocket was assembled
inside the Vertical Integration Facility at SLC-3. InSight underwent final
processing at the Astrotech facility at Vandenberg AFB after shipment from
Lockheed Martin’s Denver manufacturing facility.
will be the first planetary spacecraft to launch from Vandenberg AFB – although
there is no technical advantage or added throw weight to launch from California
kilograms) spacecraft consists of the lander,
aeroshell and cruise stage.
the aeroshell 418-pounds (189-kilograms) and the cruise stage is 174-pounds
(79-kilograms) as well as 148 pounds (67 kilograms) of loaded propellant and
pounds (13.5 kilograms).
for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed
Martin, Orbital ATK and more space
reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force
Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com –
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