NASA’s InSight Mars lander will soon be launched in the coming days at the Air Force base in the state of California. The spacecraft has completed its series of checkouts after its arrival at the military base at the Vanderberg. The military base is located in the northwest of Los Angeles, California. The engineers of the spacecraft removed the heat shield of the spacecraft for its final fueling and testing.
The launch which is sets to happen weeks away from now is expected to be viewed by many people from around the world. The engineer will also reinstall the heat shield of the spacecraft and they will also lift the payload then encapsulate the spacecraft. The ULA’s team has just completed a countdown rehearsal and fuel testing last month. The test is called as the wet dress rehearsal of the Atlas 5. However, most of the officials suggested taking all the necessary cautions to ensure that the rocket is ready for the 34-day period of launch.
The actual launching of the spacecraft was set on May 5 at 4:05 am. The InSight has still up to June to launch from the military base at Vandenberg. This Mars launch opportunity comes only every 26 months. It was also expected that the lander spacecraft will arrive on Mars on November 26 this year. This is also regardless of the launch date that will happen on May 5 until June 8.
This mission will be the first mission to another planet that will lift off from the West Coast of United States. The Air Force Base will also host the launching of the probe. The said mission aims to put some communication application, climate research, and spy satellites. Talking about the size of the NASA’s probe, it is small. The InSight only weighs 1,530 pounds and is below the capability of the Atlas 5 Rocket. The designers of the probe based its design on the Phoenix probe which was launched last August 2007 which reached the northern plains of the Mars.
The InSight lander is expected to head to the plain of the Martian equator. The officials also selected the landing place of the probe for its safety. The Elysium Planitia is considered as the biggest parking space lot of the Mars, according to the NASA’s Jet Laboratory expert. There were no missions yet ever recorded to land at the Elysium Planitia. Today, scientists are planning to send their latest probe to Mars and find evidence about the ancient waters and to determine if the red planet is habitable.