That moment finally arrived. It was all about wait and see. Many questions crossed many people’s minds. Some of them were as follows. Will it be a success? Whichever the outcome what is the way forward? NASA and its engineering team were also waiting. They couldn’t afford to get it wrong again. After the 2016 launch backfired, this one was a come and see moment. Let us unveil the happenings of the takeoff.
As it was the plan earlier, 7:05 a.m. ET arrived eventually. Neither the time nor the venue changed. The place of the launch was Vandenberg Air Force Base. Both the residents of San Diego and Los Angeles who wake up early had a view of the incident. The time mentioned above was the exact one when InSight was to take off. The good thing is that the launch of the Atlas V 401 rocket saw the light of the day. That is the rocket that propelled InSight spacecraft to Mars.
After counting from three to zero by an announcer via NASA TV, the lift-off occurred. The rocket was not alone. Inside it, there were two spacecraft whose sizes are that of a suitcase. Their purpose is to orbit Mars. At that moment and time, the sky that was not only dark but also cloudy changed to bright gold. That lasted for seconds as it ascended. It is the debut interplanetary mission of NASA to take place at Vandenberg Air Force Base. All its predecessor launches took place in Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
What brought about the change from the norm as far as the venue was concerned? According to NASA, the fact that California is relatively not congested, it was a better choice for the exercise. It would be an excellent candidate if there were a need for several launch attempts. Jim Bridenstine, the new NASA’s Administrator, congratulated the team in charge of the launch. Why not when they had done such a commendable job? It was evident that he was happy about the blast off. It is barely a month since his swearing in and the agency is making milestones. He is delighted to be part of such a team.
In case you are wondering why Cape Canaveral Air Base, Florida was not a good choice, here is the reason. In other cases, it was of help. Its eastward launch does the trick with the gravity of the earth. Therefore, a rocket receives a boost while trying to escape the gravity. For the Atlas 5 rocket, that was not necessary since it was powerful enough to do that itself. There is something to smile about after all.