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Insight Mars Lander Launch – May 5, 2018

NASA’s next mission to Mars — InSight — will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. 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 at 4:05 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on May 5. It is expected to land on the Red Planet on Nov. 26, 2018. InSight is a mission to Mars, but it is more than a Mars mission. It will help scientists understand the formation and early evolution of all rocky planets, including Earth. If skies are clear, the pre-dawn launch will likely be visible from much of coastal Southern California, including the Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas.

Download NASA Press Kit
Programming Resources

InSight Launching to Mars

A live video feed of key launch activities and commentary from the mission control room at Vandenberg Air Force Base will be broadcast. If a May 5 launch attempt is still planned, it is expected to be broadcast starting at 3:30 a.m. PDT (6:30 a.m. EDT). The first launch opportunity begins at 4:05 a.m. PDT (7:05 a.m. EDT) on May 5 and lasts for two hours.

How to Watch (Live and On-Demand)
News briefings and launch commentary will be streamed on NASA.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public, NASA.gov/live, YouTube.com/NASAJPL/live and Ustream.tv/NASAJPL. (On-demand recordings will also be available after the live events have finished on the YouTube and Ustream pages.) Any additional feeds or streams will be listed in the “Watch Online” section of mars.nasa.gov.

Off to Mars! Programming Ideas for the Insight Launch

04/03/2018
On May 5, InSight will begin its six-month journey from the coast of California to the plains of Mars. Once it lands, it will use seismic instruments to explore the interior of Mars in ways that we’ve never “seen” before! Join the STAR Net team and guest presenter Steve Lee (Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Space Science Institute) to learn all about this exciting, innovative mission and fun ways to celebrate its launch and landing at your library!

Meet Our Presenter

Six Ways InSight is Different

NASA has a long and successful track record at Mars. Since 1965, it has flown by, orbited, landed and roved across the surface of the Red Planet. None of that has been easy. Only about 40 percent of the missions ever sent to Mars by any space agency have been successful. The planet’s thin atmosphere makes landing a challenge; its extreme temperature swings make it difficult to operate on the surface. But if a spacecraft survives the trip, there’s a bounty of science to be collected. What can InSight, which is led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, do that hasn’t been done before?

Read The Six Ways