InSight is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central coast of California at 4:05 a.m. PT on May 5. This launch is the first to another planet from the West Coast. A whole new region of the country can see the start of an interplanetary journey when InSight lifts off.
During this three-day event, we’ll interview scientists and engineers, tour Vandenberg Air Force Base, and hang out with space enthusiasts and NASA’s social media team. And of course, we’ll provide complete coverage of the launch.
The mission’s launch period is May 5 through June 8, 2018, with daily launch windows that last two hours per day. Launch opportunities are set five minutes apart during each date’s launch window. The first opportunity begins around 4:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on May 5. No matter when InSight launches during its launch windows, its date with Mars is set for November 26, 2018.
The trip to Mars takes about six months and the journey is about 301 million miles (485 million kilometers). The launch vehicle is the Atlas V-401. The duration of the mission is a little over 1 Mars year (~2 Earth years); 708 Sols (Mars days), or 728 Earth days.
We’ll present a series of articles about the Mars Insight Lander from pre-launch to it’s landing on Elysium Planitia, Mars. So stay tuned to this site. Also, check out the latest updates about the launch on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
To infinity and beyond!