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April 30 – May 6, 2018 / Vol 37, No 18 / Hawai`i Island, USA

27 Apr 2018, 20:05 UTC
April 30 – May 6, 2018 / Vol 37, No 18 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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Mars InSight Lander to Launch During May Space Day Celebrations

Mars Insight lander and Mars Cube One are set to launch May 5 from Vandenberg AFB, California between 04:05-06:05 via United Launch Alliance Atlas 5. It will be the first interplanetary launch attempted from Vandenberg. If successful, InSight will land November 26 and become the 5th NASA lander to operate on Mars. Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) is aiming for a >2-year mission near 4.5°N, 135.9°E at Elysium Planitia, the second largest volcanic region on Mars ~1,700 x 2,400 km, containing 3 large volcanoes: Hecates Tholus, Albor Tholus and Elysium Mons. Its data will contribute to the understanding of Solar System terrestrial planets and Luna. Major contributions for InSight have come from Germany, Switzerland, France, UK, Poland and Spain. Mars Cube One, two 6U CubeSats, will fly separately to Mars to provide a communications link to Earth during InSight’s entry, descent, and landing. The duo will be the 1st CubeSats to operate on an interplanetary mission. Also launched May 5 is ‘National Astronaut Day’ presented by Uniphi Space Agency honoring Astronaut Alan Shepard Jr. who became the 1st American in Space in 1961. All Astronauts ...

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