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NASA Sets Sights on May 5 Launch of InSight Mars Mission 2018.05.01

NASA, USA - April 27, 2018 - NASA's next mission to Mars, Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight), is scheduled to launch Saturday, May 5, on a first-ever mission to study the heart of Mars. InSight, the first planetary mission to take off from the West Coast, is targeted to launch at 7:05 a.m. EDT (4:05 a.m. PDT) from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

MarCOs, Mars and Earth.
An artist's rendering of the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft flying over Mars with Earth in the distance.
The MarCOs will be the first CubeSats - a kind of modular, mini-satellite - flown in deep space.
They're designed to fly along behind NASA's InSight lander on its cruise to Mars. If they make the journey, they will test a relay of data about InSight's entry, descent and landing back to Earth.
Though InSight's mission will not depend on the success of the MarCOs, they will be a test of how CubeSats can be used in deep space.
The MarCO and InSight projects are managed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.
Photo courtesy of NASA / JPL-Caltech
 

NASA, USA - April 27, 2018

NASA’s next mission to Mars, Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight), is scheduled to launch Saturday, May 5, on a first-ever mission to study the heart of Mars.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/insight/main/index.html  

Coverage of prelaunch and launch activities begins Thursday, May 3, on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

InSight, the first planetary mission to take off from the West Coast, is targeted to launch at 7:05 a.m. EDT (4:05 a.m. PDT) from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

https://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=2482  


Illustration of NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight).
Photo courtesy of NASA
 
Launching on the same rocket is a separate NASA technology experiment known as Mars Cube One (MarCO).

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/cubesat/missions/marco.php  

MarCO consists of two mini-spacecraft and will be the first test of CubeSat technology in deep space.

They are designed to test new communications and navigation capabilities for future missions and may aid InSight communications.

An artist's rendering of a rocket launching with the InSight spacecraft later this May.
Photo courtesy of NASA / JPL-Caltech
 

NASA TV and online mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern)

Thursday, May 3


4 p.m. – Prelaunch Briefing

• Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters

• Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

• Tom Hoffman, InSight project manager at JPL

• Annick Sylvestre-Baron, deputy project manager for the InSight seismometer investigation at France's space agency, the Centre National d'Études Spatiales

• Philippe Lognonné, InSight seismometer investigation lead at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in France

• Tilman Spohn, investigation lead at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3), an instrument on InSight

• Andrew Klesh, MarCO chief engineer at JPL

• Anne Marinan, MarCO systems engineer at JPL

• Stu Spath, InSight program manager at Lockheed Martin Space

• Tim Dunn, launch director with NASA’s Launch Services Program

• Scott Messer, ULA program manager for NASA launches

• Col. Michael Hough, commander of the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg

• 1st Lt. Kristina Williams, weather officer for the 30th Space Wing


Saturday, May 5

6:30 a.m. – Launch coverage begins.

7:05 a.m. – Launch time

MarCOs Cruise in Deep Space
An artist's rendering of the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft as they fly through deep space.
The MarCOs will be the first CubeSats - a kind of modular, mini-satellite - attempting to fly to another planet.
They're designed to fly along behind NASA's InSight lander on its cruise to Mars. If they make the journey, they will test a relay of data about InSight's entry, descent and landing back to Earth.
Though InSight's mission will not depend on the success of the MarCOs, they will be a test of how CubeSats can be used in deep space.
The MarCO and InSight projects are managed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.
Photo courtesy of NASA /JPL-Caltech
 

Prelaunch Briefing Participation (all times Pacific)

The deadline for media to apply for accreditation for this launch has passed. However, media still may participate in the May 3 prelaunch briefing by phone by contacting JoAnna Wendel
at
joanna.r.wendel@nasa.gov  
no later than noon on Thursday, May 3.

Media and the public also may ask questions during the event on social media using #askNASA.

Media who are accredited to attend the prelaunch briefing in person should confirm their participation with 2nd Lt. Amy Rasmussen of the 30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
at
amy.rasmussen@us.af.mil 
no later than 10 a.m. on Monday, April 30.

Accredited media should arrive at the Hawk’s Nest off Highway 1, about one mile south of the Santa Maria Gate at Vandenberg, by 11 a.m. to be escorted. Media must present a driver’s license or passport to receive a base pass.


Public Launch Viewing

There are two official launch viewing sites for the public in Lompoc, California.
For information on these sites, visit:

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/mission/timeline/launch/watch-in-person/  

InSight will be the first mission to peer deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet's interior by measuring its heat output and listening for marsquakes, which are seismic events similar to earthquakes on Earth.

It will use the seismic waves generated by marsquakes to develop a map of the planet’s deep interior.

The resulting insight into Mars’ formation will help us better understand how other rocky planets, including Earth, were and are created.

JPL manages the InSight mission for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, managed by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The spacecraft, including cruise stage and lander, was built and tested by Lockheed Martin Space in Denver.

Several European partners, including France's space agency, the Centre National d'Étude Spatiales, and Germany’s DLR, are supporting the mission.

ULA, of Centennial, Colorado, is providing the Atlas V launch service.

The Launch Services Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management.

Media may get more information on the InSight mission, prelaunch and launch events, at:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/insight-briefings-and-events  

Join the conversation on social media by following InSight at:

http://twitter.com/NASAInSight  

or

http://www.facebook.com/NASAInSight/  


NASA’s InSight to Mars undergoes final preparations at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., ahead of its May 5 launch date.
Photo courtesy of NASA / JPL-Caltech
 

Fast Facts

Launch Date: May 2018 (with Insight)

Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Launch Vehicle: Atlas V launch vehicle

Project Manager: Joel Krajewski

Chief Engineer: Andy Klesh


Video
NASA’s First Deep Space CubeSats

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_8ZEAPrrHQ  


MarCO Being Tested in Sunlight.
Engineer Joel Steinkraus uses sunlight to test the solar arrays on one of the Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The MarCO and InSight projects are managed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.
Photo courtesy of NASA / JPL-Caltech
 

Contacts

Dwayne Brown / JoAnna Wendel
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1726 / 202-358-1003
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov  / joanna.r.wendel@nasa.gov  

Tori McLendon
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-2468
tori.n.mclendon@nasa.gov  

DC Agle / Andrew Good
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-393-9011 / 818-393-2433
agle@jpl.nasa.gov  / andrew.c.good@jpl.nasa.gov  

2nd Lt. Amy Rasmussen
30th Space Wing, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
805-606-4017
amy.rasmussen@us.af.mil  


 
 
Source: NASA

https://www.nasa.gov/  



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Editor-in-Chief of ASTROMAN magazine: Roman Wojtala, Ph.D.


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