APR 30, 2018 05:02 PM PDT

Cinco de Mayo is Also InSight Launch Day for NASA

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

This upcoming Saturday isn’t just Cinco de Mayo; it’s also the day that NASA plans to launch its highly-anticipated InSight mission so that it can make its way to Mars.

An artist's rendition of the InSight probe after deploying on Mars.

Image Credit: NASA

While SpaceX usually gets a lot of attention for sending probes into space, that won’t be the case this time around. Instead, NASA will take advantage of a United Launch Alliance-made Atlas-V rocket to lift the mission high above Earth’s atmosphere.

Citing one of NASA’s most recent public statements, InSight will become the first interplanetary mission to launch from the West coast of the United States – at Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The rocket’s powerful engines will ignite at roughly 4:05 A.M. Pacific time on May 5th.

InSight is an acronym that stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. As you might have already guessed from the rather lengthy and descriptive name, the InSight mission will study Mars’ interior so that planetary scientists can gather more information about the red planet’s unique characteristics.

InSight could tell us whether Martian earthquakes (Marsquakes) occur, and what causes them. Furthermore, it may also reveal Mars’ internal temperature and illuminate details about the planet’s orbital wobble, among other things.

As it does all of this, the probe will also attempt to map out the red planet’s interior so that we can obtain a better understanding of the world that humans could one day visit.

Related: Does Mars experience Marsquakes?

The InSight probe itself won’t be alone when it takes off. NASA says two cubesats (collectively known as MarCO) will accompany it inside of the rocket’s cargo hold. MarCO will deploy near Mars, allowing the space agency to test new communication techniques with the potential to push Mars-based planetary science forward.

As always, NASA will live-stream the launch from its NASA TV web page.

Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 14, 2019
SpaceX Resupplies the International Space Station
SpaceX launched another resupply mission for the International Space Station on Thursday, subtly named CRS-18, coinciding with the same day that the commer...
DEC 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 14, 2019
What Can the Moon's Craters Tell Us?
The Moon is littered with craters, and each one tells an important story about its past. Some of those craters are large, but others are somewhat small. Th...
DEC 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 14, 2019
All About NASA's Upcoming Plan to Explore Europa
Planetary scientists have been in search of potentially habitable worlds for years, and perhaps one of the most promising places we have yet to explore in...
DEC 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 14, 2019
Everything You Need to Know About NASA's Artemis Mission
NASA’s upcoming Artemis mission will bring the Moon back into focus as we attempt to learn more about what it takes to become a multi-planetary speci...
DEC 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 14, 2019
Woman-Only Spacewalk Will Transpire October 21st, NASA Says
NASA was expected to orchestrate the world’s first all-female spacewalk at the International Space Station earlier this year, but was unfortunately u...
DEC 14, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 14, 2019
2019 Nobel Prize in Physics: Exoplanets and the Evolution of Our Universe
This Tuesday, October 8th, the Nobel Prize committee announced the winners of this year's Physics Nobel. Canadian cosmologist James Peebles, alongside...
Loading Comments...