NASA published 20 pictures of the heat shield, which measures somewhere around 8.7 feet (2.6 meters) in diameter, being carried onto the spacecraft’s back shell April 12 to enclose the lander for the Mars Mission. Snuggly fixed inside a heat shield and the nose cover of an Atlas 5 rocket, as can be seen in the published pictures, that will make it to Mars, NASA’s InSight lander is waiting to be launch on May 5 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. These 20 Pictures about NASA’s Insight Lander Mars mission are the courtesy of USAF 30th Space Wing/Tony Vauclin.
NASA’S InSight Mission is the first ever robotic mission prepared to study the profound inside of Mars. On top of that, this will be the first mission devoted to digging deep beneath the Red Planet’s surface to figure out what’s shaking on Mars, said by NASA in a press release.
Insight’s two-hour launch window will be opened at 4:05 a.m. PT (7:05 a.m. ET) for the dispatch.
Tom Hoffman is the project manager for NASA’s InSight Mars mission from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Hoffman says, “If you live in Southern California and the climate is good, you’ll probably have a better view of the dispatch than I will.”
And, if everything works perfect as per the plan, the 790-pound (358-kilogram) probe will land on Mars on November 26, 2018, after a six-month-long journey, joining the team of five other NASA spacecraft working on or above the Martian surface.
The heat shield and the back shell will safeguard the probe during going down through the Martian atmosphere.
Hoffman further adds, “I’ll be stuck in the control room looking at monitors — which is not the best way to enjoy an Atlas 5 on its journey to Mars.”
Once fully attached together in its cruise configuration, with fixed solar array wings to provide electricity supply during the nearly six-seven-month journey to Mars, the 1,530-pound (694-kilogram) InSight Lander spacecraft was fitted inside the Atlas 5 rocket’s payload fairing April 16.
The shroud measures somewhere around 13 feet, or 4 meters, in diameter and will jettison from the Atlas 5 rocket about four-and-a-half minutes after liftoff.
The launch vehicle is a United Launch Alliance (ULA) 2-stage Atlas V 401 launch rocket that will generate 860,200 pounds (3.8 million newtons) of the thrust as it flies away from its launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base, near Lompoc, California.
As it can be even be seen in NASA’s InSight Lander picture that Insight and its payload fairing were transported from a payload processing clean cell to Space Launch Complex 3-East at Vandenberg on April 23rd.
A crane placed the payload on top of the Atlas 5 rocket inside the launch pad’s mobile gantry, doing the capping assembly of 188-foot-tall (57-meter) launcher.
The Centaur second phase will be carrying Insight in a 40-foot-long payload fairing.
Centaur can create multiple burns to provide payloads to a variety of orbits consisting Low Earth Orbit, Geostationary Transfer Orbit, and Geostationary Orbit, Having this upper stage will give the mission the another “first.”
Insight mission’s head investigator, Bruce Banerdt, stated that he was “already pretty crazy about Mars” when he was 8 years of age or so, and his excitement about successfully sending a spacecraft there “is really starting to get intense.”
Banerdt said that this Mars mission will additionally fill the “last gaping hole in NASA’s exploration of Mars,”
“We have mapped the surface of the whole planet in the terms of visual features, topography, gravitational force and magnetic fields.”
“We have examined the atmosphere, both globally and at the Mars’ surface. We have roved around the surface at four distinct places, learning geology and piecing together the history of the surface.”
“But by far, the wide regions of the planet deeper than a couple of miles, or so, (have) been almost totaly unknown to us.”
Space Launch Complex 3, the Atlas V starts a southerly trajectory and flies over the Channel Islands of Oxnard,” says Tim Dunn, launch director of the Launch Services Program at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
He adds to his quotation, “If you are living on the California Central Coast or south to L.A. and San Diego, make sure to wake up early on May 5th morning because Atlas V is the best standard in launch vehicles and it can put on a great live show.”
NASA’s Insight will be Landing on Mars on scheduled for Nov. 26, when InSight will use a parachute and fire braking rockets to gradually touch down on a broad equatorial plain known as Elysium Planitia to start studying the red planet’s seismic activity and probing its interior buildup. Here we uploaded the 20 Pictures of NASA’s Insight Lander Mars Mission, whereas Live televised coverage of the dispatch will be available online at “https://www.nasa.gov/live”. The mission has time until June 8 to leave Earth during this year’s Mars dispatch period, otherwise, it will have to wait until mid-2020.