NASA Sets Sights On May 5 Launch Of InSight Mars Mission – April 30, 2018 –Washington, USA (Techreleased) – 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. Coverage of prelaunch and launch activities begins Thursday, May 3, on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

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.

Launching on the same rocket is a separate NASA technology experiment known as Mars Cube One (MarCO). 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.

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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.