NASA’s first-of-its-kind mission is set to launch this week to investigate the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system more than four billion years ago, the US space agency said.
NASA’s first planetary mission is to take off from the West Coast of the US and will launch on Saturday at 7.05 am. Though most of the US’ interplanetary missions take off from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, located on the country’s East Coast, it is the first groundbreaking mission to take off from the West Coast of the US using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.
As described, this mission will explore Mars’ deep interior and send information back from the Red Planet. The seismic investigation will map the shape of Mars as well as constantly monitor heat signatures and environmental details. Scientists hope to learn many new things about the fundamental properties of Mars as well as its development over the birth of our galaxy.
The tech used in the mission, United Launch Alliance two-stage Atlas V 401, will produce 3.8 million Newton of force as it climbs away from its launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Launching on the same rocket is another separate technology experiment known as Mars Cube One (Marco), which consists of two mini-spacecraft and will be the first test of CubeSat technology in deep space. NASA InSight’s landing on Mars is planned for November 26.
The full coverage of the launch can be viewed online from Thursday. Viewers will be able to ask NASA questions during the launch on social media using the hashtag #askNASA.