InSight Mars lander of NASA will be closed up for takeoff in the coming weeks at the Vanderberg Air Force Base in California, in groundwork for its lifting on Atlas 5 rocket for takeoff in the predawn hours of 5th of May.
In the early mornings hours of May 5, millions of residents in California will have a chance to see a sight they’ve never seen before – the first historical interplanetary takeoff from West Coast of America. On board, the 57.3 meter United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will be InSight spacecraft of NASA, intended for the Elysium Planitia region situated in the northern hemisphere of Mars. The May 5 takeoff window for the InSight mission starts at 4:05 AM PDT and remains open for 2 hours.
In clear skies, the InSight takeoff must be accessible up and down a wide-ranging swath of the California coast. All people from as far as north as Bakersfield to as far as south as Rosarito, Mexico may witness the Atlas rocket climbing in the predawn atmosphere and then head south, parallel to the shoreline.
The United Launch Alliance 2-stage Atlas V 401 takeoff vehicle will generate 860,200 pounds of thrust as it soars up away from the launch pad at Vanderberg Air Force Base, close to Lompoc, California. In the first seventeen seconds of the powered flight, Atlas V will rise steeply above the launch pad. Then it will start a pitch and yaw movement, which will put on a route towards the south pole of the planet.
Mach One takes place one minute and eighteen seconds into the powered flight of Atlas V. At that period, the vehicle will be approximately 30,000 feet in altitude and 1-mile range. Two minutes and thirty-six seconds later, the initial stage will shut down at an altitude of roughly 66 miles and 184 miles down range. The second stage Centaur separates from the now-dead initial stage 6 seconds after. After 10 seconds, the engine of Centaur kicks in with its 101,820 newtons of thrusts that will bring it and InSight into a time of the takeoff.
Then the Centaur will re-ignite for one final burn at 1 hour and 19 minutes after takeoff, Insight into a Mars-bound space route. Spacecraft separation from the Centaur will take place at least 93 minutes after takeoff for the first May 5 launch opportunity since the spacecraft is at least over the Alaska-Yukon area.