Author Topic: Atlas V 401 - InSight, Mars Cube One Vandenberg- LC-3E - May, 2018  (Read 13014 times)

Offline Targeteer

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I believe this is the booster for this launch based on the timeline.  The question is, why was this booster delivered by air (or by a C-5 instead), and not by sea?  Anyone else see the irony in a RD-180 powered booster being delivered by an AN-124 to a US Air Force base? 

http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123464211

Atlas V booster lands at Vandenberg

by Airman 1st Class Robert J. Volio
30th Space Wing Public Affairs

11/25/2015 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A cargo aircraft carrying an Atlas-V booster recently arrived here, Nov. 20.

The Antonov AN-124, one of the largest aircraft in the world, made its way from a production facility in Huntsville, Ala. to deliver the booster.

"The Antonov flew from Zurich, Switzerland to Mansfield, Ohio, and then to Huntsville, Ala.," said 1st Lt. Hammad Ghazali, 4th Space Launch Squadron mission manager. "From there, the Atlas booster was loaded onto the aircraft and flown directly to Vandenberg."

Due to the large size of rocket components, transportation can pose unique challenges.

The vehicles with the transportation muscle to accomplish this task include the Antonov - the Delta Mariner, a large cargo vessel used to transport rocket components by sea - and air ride tractor trailers, vehicles made to handle large, fragile shipments.

The Delta IV rocket is delivered by the Delta Mariner due to its massive size inhibiting other forms of travel.

"The Atlas V and Delta IV boosters can be transported via the Delta Mariner," said Ghazali. "This large ship is capable of carrying up to three boosters from the production site in Alabama to either Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or Vandenberg."

Various personnel were on hand to carefully orchestrate and coordinate the successful arrival and unique transportation of the rocket booster.

"An operation of this magnitude requires extensive training, coordination and teamwork," said Lt. Col. Eric Zarybnisky, 4th SLS commander. "Members across Team Vandenberg, along with United Launch Alliance and other mission partners, helped make it all happen. The 30th Operations Support Squadron airfield operations team ensured the aircraft's successful arrival, offload and departure. The 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron and 30th Security Forces Squadron teams supported the transportation convoy from the airfield to building 7525. The combined cohesion of ULA, 4th SLS and 30th Space Wing Safety ensured the booster offload went smoothly - ensuring mission success. Numerous others across Team V provided the infrastructure and support necessary to make this operation a successful one."

Despite arriving via flight to Vandenberg, the booster's original transportation method involved another option.

"The Atlas booster was originally built in Denver, Colo. before production moved to Decatur, Ala.," said Ghazali. "Getting the first stage from Denver to Vandenberg wasn't feasible via truck so the booster was designed to be flown to the launch location. Flying the booster to the launch location minimizes the transport time and avoids hazards that the booster structure would be exposed to over land."

Consisting of a multitude of features, the Atlas booster is a pivotal piece of the space mission puzzle.

"The Atlas-V booster provides space lift for critical spacecraft, including defense satellites, NASA scientific missions, and commercial satellites," said Zarybnisky. "The boosters carry the bulk of the fuel required to produce the thrust necessary to launch these satellites into the desired orbits. The orbits we launch to, from Vandenberg, are unique and provide our launch customers the ability to perform missions they could not accomplish if they launched from Cape Canaveral."

With the booster's successful arrival, day-to-day launch operations remain intact - ensuring mission success at Vandenberg.

"Launch vehicle processing has very tight timelines," said Zarybnisky. "Delays in a single operation can have large ripple effects across the process. By ensuring a smooth delivery, we can prevent schedule compression that induces additional risk into launch vehicle processing."
« Last Edit: 03/09/2016 01:39 PM by Targeteer »
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline arachnitect

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I believe this is the booster for this launch based on the timeline.  The question is, why was this booster delivered by air (or by a C-5 instead), and not by sea?  Anyone else see the irony in a RD-180 powered booster being delivered by an AN-124 to a US Air Force base? 

Not the first time the AN-124 has been used. Won't be the last either.

Probably a lot cheaper than sending the boat all the way around. Next west coast D-IV is already out there.

Offline Newton_V

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I believe this is the booster for this launch based on the timeline.  The question is, why was this booster delivered by air (or by a C-5 instead), and not by sea?  Anyone else see the irony in a RD-180 powered booster being delivered by an AN-124 to a US Air Force base? 

Not the first time the AN-124 has been used. Won't be the last either.

Probably a lot cheaper than sending the boat all the way around. Next west coast D-IV is already out there.

Yeah, it's not uncommon for the VAFB Atlas V boosters to get flown out.  AV-051 booster was flown out as well.
C-5's haven't been used for a long time.  Maybe never for Atlas V, I can't recall.  Half the fleet is retired (C-5As), half of the other half is always in some overhaul or upgrade program.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Is the Atlas V too big to be transport by road like the Falcon 9?

Online edkyle99

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Is the Atlas V too big to be transport by road like the Falcon 9?
CCB is shorter and skinnier than a Falcon 9 first stage, so there's no reason it could not be done unless there are highway obstructions on the routes.  EDIT:  It is six inches wider, so I'm not sure if road transport is possible.  It seems close.

Air or water transport has long been the standard procedure for U.S. launch vehicle stages.  The original Atlas/Titan/Thor/Jupiter stages were missiles that were required to be air-transportable.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/27/2015 12:28 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline baldusi

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Is the Atlas V too big to be transport by road like the Falcon 9?
CCB is shorter and skinnier than a Falcon 9 first stage, so there's no reason it could not be done unless there are highway obstructions on the routes.

Air or water transport has long been the standard procedure for U.S. launch vehicle stages.  The original Atlas/Titan/Thor/Jupiter stages were missiles that were required to be air-transportable.

 - Ed Kyle
Atlas V core is 3.81m, which is wider than the F9 (just 15cm or so). But the true question is if it was designed for read transport. The F9 core doesn't rest the whole length over a transport, so it sort of carries itself. I haven't seen this arrangement for the Atlas V cores, specially for the rigors of a cross country road trip.

Offline John-H

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Then the F9 is <exactly> 12 feet in diameter, which is the usual legal US road limit. Atlas is just above this.

John

Online edkyle99

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Is the Atlas V too big to be transport by road like the Falcon 9?
CCB is shorter and skinnier than a Falcon 9 first stage, so there's no reason it could not be done unless there are highway obstructions on the routes.

Air or water transport has long been the standard procedure for U.S. launch vehicle stages.  The original Atlas/Titan/Thor/Jupiter stages were missiles that were required to be air-transportable.

 - Ed Kyle
Atlas V core is 3.81m, which is wider than the F9 (just 15cm or so). But the true question is if it was designed for read transport. The F9 core doesn't rest the whole length over a transport, so it sort of carries itself. I haven't seen this arrangement for the Atlas V cores, specially for the rigors of a cross country road trip.
Ooops, I got that wrong (thinking about the Antares diameter probably).  Falcon 9 is 144 inches diameter.  Atlas 5 CCB appears to be 150 inches diameter.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline jacqmans

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Offline ethan829

Now NET March 18:


https://twitter.com/alexwitze/status/676864559609610240
Quote
Jim Green: InSight will not launch before March 18. (Also said launch window pushes into April.) #AGU15

Offline Chris Bergin

Next Stop: Mars – Lockheed Martin Delivers NASA’s InSight Spacecraft to Launch Site

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2015/december/insight-space-mars-delivered.html - with photo.

Next Mission to Mars Working Toward a March Launch

                                                                     
Caption: Lockheed Martin delivered NASA’s InSight spacecraft to its California launch site on Dec. 15, 2015. The Mars lander was shipped aboard a U.S. Air Force transport plane from Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado to Vandenberg Air Force Base where it will undergo final processing in preparation for a March launch. Photo credit: Lockheed Martin [high-res images link]


DENVER, Dec. 17, 2015 – NASA’s latest mission to Mars took its next step on its long journey to the Red Planet. On Dec. 16, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) delivered NASA’s InSight spacecraft to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The lander will now undergo final processing in preparation for a March launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket.

The InSight lander will study the deep interior of Mars and will address one of the most fundamental questions of planetary and solar system science: how did the planets form? The mission will help scientists understand the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system more than four billion years ago. Lockheed Martin designed and built the spacecraft and is responsible for testing, launch processing and mission operations.

InSight was previously scheduled to ship to California in early January, but delivery was moved three and a half weeks early to provide more time at the launch site for the integration of the seismometer instrument (SEIS) developed by the French Space Agency, CNES.

“We’ve worked closely with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to design and build an amazing spacecraft, one that is based on our Mars Phoenix design that successfully landed on Mars in 2008,” said Stu Spath, InSight program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “The spacecraft and its environmental testing are complete, and now the launch team is moving to California to perform final preparations for a March launch.”

The 1,380-pound spacecraft, consisting of the lander, aeroshell and cruise stage, was shipped aboard a U.S. Air Force transport plane in an environmentally controlled container. The plane, spacecraft and support personnel took off from Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado and touched down at Vandenberg Air Force Base. While at Vandenberg at the Astrotech Space Operations facility, the spacecraft will undergo final processing including the installation and testing of the SEIS instrument, system-level checkout, propellant loading and a spin balance test.

The InSight mission is led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Bruce Banerdt. The Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), France's space agency, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are each contributing a science instrument to the two-year scientific mission. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages InSight for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, managed by the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Offline Targeteer

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http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1878

NASA's next Mars spacecraft has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, for final preparations before a launch scheduled in March 2016 and a landing on Mars six months later.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built and tested the spacecraft and delivered it on Dec. 16 from Buckley Air Force Base in Denver to Vandenberg, on the central California Coast.

Preparations are on a tight schedule for launch during the period March 4 through March 30. The work ahead includes installation and testing of one of the mission's key science instruments, its seismometer, which is scheduled for delivery to Vandenberg in January.

"InSight has traveled the first leg of its journey, getting from Colorado to California, and we're on track to start the next leg, to Mars, with a launch in March," said InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

The seismometer, provided by France's national space agency (CNES), includes a vacuum container around its three main sensors. Maintaining the vacuum is necessary for the instrument's extremely high sensitivity; the seismometer is capable of measuring ground motions as small as the width of an atom. A vacuum leak detected during testing of the seismometer was repaired last week in France and is undergoing further testing.

InSight's heat-probe instrument from Germany's space agency (DLR), the lander's robotic arm and the rest of the payload are already installed on the spacecraft.

InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport, is the first Mars mission dedicated to studying the deep interior of the Red Planet. This Mars lander's findings will advance understanding about the formation and evolution of all rocky planets, including Earth.

One of the newest additions installed on the InSight lander is a microchip bearing the names of about 827,000 people worldwide who participated in an online "send your name to Mars" activity in August and September 2015.

InSight will be the first mission to Mars ever launched from California. The mission is part of NASA's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.


For more information about InSight, visit:

http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov
« Last Edit: 12/17/2015 10:35 PM by Targeteer »
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Jakusb

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Is this (bad) news? Or already known?:
Heads up @elakdawalla the @NASAInSight delay is "true"

https://twitter.com/nasawatch/status/679353284864442368
« Last Edit: 12/22/2015 04:46 PM by Jakusb »

Online zubenelgenubi

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Breaking news about the possible delay of the launch of InSight to the next Mars launch window is (primarily) going on in The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread.
« Last Edit: 12/22/2015 05:11 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline Lars-J

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Now that InSight has been delayed until the next window, 2 years from now(?) - what will happen with the Atlas V? It is already at VAFB, so will it be used for the next flight after that, or put in storage?

Offline ugordan

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Ugh....

Quote
Q from @erichand: Will you launch in 26 mos, or will you have to cancel? Grunsfeld: as a cost-capped mission, cancellation is on the table.

https://twitter.com/elakdawalla/status/679403845240283136

Offline Star One

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Ugh....

Quote
Q from @erichand: Will you launch in 26 mos, or will you have to cancel? Grunsfeld: as a cost-capped mission, cancellation is on the table.

https://twitter.com/elakdawalla/status/679403845240283136

Especially considering the missions it was chosen over & if it does impact forthcoming Discovery missions.

Offline Kim Keller

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Now that InSight has been delayed until the next window, 2 years from now(?) - what will happen with the Atlas V? It is already at VAFB, so will it be used for the next flight after that, or put in storage?

That has not been decided yet, but is definitely being actively worked by ULA.

I'm really bummed by the delay - I ws the prime NASA electrical engineer assigned to it and it would've been my first visit to VAFB in over a year and a half. I'm tired of my cubicle in the O&C!

Offline Newton_V

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Now that InSight has been delayed until the next window, 2 years from now(?) - what will happen with the Atlas V? It is already at VAFB, so will it be used for the next flight after that, or put in storage?

It's a little tricky as the next Atlas V (IIF-12) is the first with common avionics (multiple cut-ins), and there are only a couple vehicles left with Block II avionics.  One of those at ER is definitely staying on that LV.

"Most" of the avionics with the upgrade in on the upper stage, but not all of it.

Offline Prober

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Some disturbing info from an article


http://www.space.com/31890-nasa-mars-insight-lander-fate.html


They basically are talking cancellation for money reasons?





2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline whitelancer64

Some disturbing info from an article


http://www.space.com/31890-nasa-mars-insight-lander-fate.html


They basically are talking cancellation for money reasons?

The possibility of cancellation has been known since December.

https://twitter.com/elakdawalla/status/679403845240283136
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Offline baldusi

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Some disturbing info from an article

http://www.space.com/31890-nasa-mars-insight-lander-fate.html

They basically are talking cancellation for money reasons?
I believe they are playing a dangerous game here. The President will present a Budget where InSight is cut, hoping that then the California Reps will find the extra money and appropriate it so they don't cancel it since it's basically ready. Magic extra budget. At least that's my wild speculation.

Offline Star One

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Some disturbing info from an article


http://www.space.com/31890-nasa-mars-insight-lander-fate.html


They basically are talking cancellation for money reasons?

Is that basically much different from what the situation was when they announced it wouldn't be flying this year? Doesn't seem to indicate any decision has been made one way or the other yet.

Offline Prober

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Some disturbing info from an article


http://www.space.com/31890-nasa-mars-insight-lander-fate.html


They basically are talking cancellation for money reasons?

Is that basically much different from what the situation was when they announced it wouldn't be flying this year? Doesn't seem to indicate any decision has been made one way or the other yet.


agree with the comment this is a dangerous game.  Spend 1/2 a billion dollars and do heavy promotion in HSF of a "Journey to Mars"



then this mess  >:(

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Offline arachnitect

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Some disturbing info from an article

http://www.space.com/31890-nasa-mars-insight-lander-fate.html

They basically are talking cancellation for money reasons?
I believe they are playing a dangerous game here. The President will present a Budget where InSight is cut, hoping that then the California Reps will find the extra money and appropriate it so they don't cancel it since it's basically ready. Magic extra budget. At least that's my wild speculation.

What do they do if the delay puts them over the cost cap? Rewrite the Discovery program rules? Kick it out of Discovery but reinstate it as an ESMD mission or something?

Offline shooter6947

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What do they do if the delay puts them over the cost cap? Rewrite the Discovery program rules? Kick it out of Discovery but reinstate it as an ESMD mission or something?

They hold a Termination Review, after which the NASA brass make the call whether to pony up the extra money or cancel the mission.

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Thanks! The phrase "termination review" was enough to find this link:
http://www.nap.edu/read/11530/chapter/2#7
-- sdsds --

Offline vapour_nudge

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There's a lot of angst and disappointment in this thread. Remember that even if the mission is cancelled, the spacecraft will be mothballed and may be reinvented as something else in in the future much like the Phoenix mission was.
« Last Edit: 03/06/2016 03:50 AM by vapour_nudge »

Offline Zed_Noir

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There's a lot of angst and disappointment in this thread. Remember that even if the mission is cancelled, the spacecraft will be mothballed and may be reinvented as something else in in the future much like the Phoenix mission was.

No, the spacecraft will end up in a museum if not launched in the next window IMO. The design is old with a lot of no longer available parts & obsolete software. It will cost roughly the same for a new spacecraft as re-purposing the Insight spacecraft.

Read somewhere that the Atlas launcher is reassigned to Worldview 4.

Offline Targeteer

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Great news  I happily updated the thread title launch date  :)

March 09, 2016
RELEASE 16-026
NASA Targets May 2018 Launch of Mars InSight Mission
Artist's concept of InSight
NASA has set a new launch opportunity, beginning May 5, 2018, for the InSight mission to Mars. This artist's concept depicts the InSight lander on Mars after the lander's robotic arm has deployed a seismometer and a heat probe directly onto the ground. InSight is the first mission dedicated to investigating the deep interior of Mars. The findings will advance understanding of how all rocky planets, including Earth, formed and evolved.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to study the deep interior of Mars is targeting a new launch window that begins May 5, 2018, with a Mars landing scheduled for Nov. 26, 2018.

InSight’s primary goal is to help us understand how rocky planets – including Earth – formed and evolved. The spacecraft had been on track to launch this month until a vacuum leak in its prime science instrument prompted NASA in December to suspend preparations for launch.

InSight project managers recently briefed officials at NASA and France's space agency, Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES), on a path forward; the proposed plan to redesign the science instrument was accepted in support of a 2018 launch.

“The science goals of InSight are compelling, and the NASA and CNES plans to overcome the technical challenges are sound," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "The quest to understand the interior of Mars has been a longstanding goal of planetary scientists for decades. We’re excited to be back on the path for a launch, now in 2018.” 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, will redesign, build and conduct qualifications of the new vacuum enclosure for the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), the component that failed in December. CNES will lead instrument level integration and test activities, allowing the InSight Project to take advantage of each organization’s proven strengths. The two agencies have worked closely together to establish a project schedule that accommodates these plans, and scheduled interim reviews over the next six months to assess technical progress and continued feasibility.

The cost of the two-year delay is being assessed. An estimate is expected in August, once arrangements with the launch vehicle provider have been made.

The seismometer instrument's main sensors need to operate within a vacuum chamber to provide the exquisite sensitivity needed for measuring ground movements as small as half the radius of a hydrogen atom. The rework of the seismometer's vacuum container will result in a finished, thoroughly tested instrument in 2017 that will maintain a high degree of vacuum around the sensors through rigors of launch, landing, deployment and a two-year prime mission on the surface of Mars.

The InSight mission draws upon a strong international partnership led by Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt of JPL. The lander's Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package is provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). This probe will hammer itself to a depth of about 16 feet (five meters) into the ground beside the lander.

SEIS was built with the participation of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, with support from the Swiss Space Office and the European Space Agency PRODEX program; the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, supported by DLR; Imperial College, supported by the United Kingdom Space Agency; and JPL.

"The shared and renewed commitment to this mission continues our collaboration to find clues in the heart of Mars about the early evolution of our solar system," said Marc Pircher, director of CNES's Toulouse Space Centre.

The mission’s international science team includes researchers from Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

JPL manages InSight for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, managed by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The InSight spacecraft, including cruise stage and lander, was built and tested by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver. It was delivered to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in December 2015 in preparation for launch, and returned to Lockheed Martin's Colorado facility last month for storage until spacecraft preparations resume in 2017.

NASA is on an ambitious journey to Mars that includes sending humans to the Red Planet, and that work remains on track. Robotic spacecraft are leading the way for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, with the upcoming Mars 2020 rover being designed and built, the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers exploring the Martian surface, the Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft currently orbiting the planet, along with the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) orbiter, which is helping scientists understand what happened to the Martian atmosphere.

NASA and CNES also are participating in ESA’s (European Space Agency's) Mars Express mission currently operating at Mars. NASA is participating on ESA’s 2016 and 2018 ExoMars missions, including providing telecommunication radios for ESA's 2016 orbiter and a critical element of a key astrobiology instrument on the 2018 ExoMars rover.

For addition information about the mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/insight

More information about NASA's journey to Mars is available online at:

http://www.nasa.gov/journeytomars
« Last Edit: 03/09/2016 01:40 PM by Targeteer »
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Offline Star One

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NASA Approves 2018 Launch of Mars InSight Mission

Artist's concept of InSight
NASA has set a new launch opportunity, beginning May 5, 2018, for the InSight mission to Mars. This artist's concept depicts the InSight lander on Mars after the lander's robotic arm has deployed a seismometer and a heat probe directly onto the ground. InSight is the first mission dedicated to investigating the deep interior of Mars. The findings will advance understanding of how all rocky planets, including Earth, formed and evolved.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA is moving forward with a spring 2018 launch of its InSight mission to study the deep interior of Mars, following final approval this week by the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.

The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission was originally scheduled to launch in March of this year, but NASA suspended launch preparations in December due to a vacuum leak in its prime science instrument, the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS).

The new launch period for the mission begins May 5, 2018, with a Mars landing scheduled for Nov. 26, 2018. The next launch opportunity is driven by orbital dynamics, so 2018 is the soonest the lander can be on its way.   

“Our robotic scientific explorers such as InSight are paving the way toward an ambitious journey to send humans to the Red Planet,” said Geoff Yoder, acting associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, in Washington. “It’s gratifying that we are moving forward with this important mission to help us better understand the origins of Mars and all the rocky planets, including Earth.”

The SEIS instrument -- designed to measure ground movements as small as half the radius of a hydrogen atom -- requires a perfect vacuum seal around its three main sensors in order to withstand harsh conditions on the Red Planet. Under what’s known as the mission “replan,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, will be responsible for redesigning, developing and qualifying the instrument's evacuated container and the electrical feedthroughs that failed previously. France's space agency, the Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES), will focus on developing and delivering the key sensors for SEIS, integration of the sensors into the container, and the final integration of the instrument onto the spacecraft.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is contributing the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) to InSight’s science payload.

NASA’s budget for InSight was $675 million. The instrument redesign and two-year delay add $153.8 million. The additional cost will not delay or cancel any current missions, though there may be fewer opportunities for new missions in future years, from fiscal years 2017-2020.

InSight’s primary goal is to help us understand how rocky planets formed and evolved. Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, said, “We’ve concluded that a replanned InSight mission for launch in 2018 is the best approach to fulfill these long-sought, high-priority science objectives.”

CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall added, "This confirmation of the launch plan for InSight is excellent news and an unparalleled opportunity to learn more about the internal structure of the Red Planet, which is currently of major interest to the international science community."

The InSight Project is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, which is managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-354-6278
guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown / Laurie Cantillo
NASA Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1726 / 202-358-1077
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov / laura.l.cantillo@nasa.gov

2016-230

Last Updated: Sept. 2, 2016
Editor: Tony Greicius

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NASA's Next Mars Mission to Investigate Interior of Red Planet

Preparation of NASA's next spacecraft to Mars, InSight, has ramped up this summer, on course for launch next May from Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California -- the first interplanetary launch in history from America's West Coast.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems is assembling and testing the InSight spacecraft in a clean room facility near Denver. "Our team resumed system-level integration and test activities last month," said Stu Spath, spacecraft program manager at Lockheed Martin. "The lander is completed and instruments have been integrated onto it so that we can complete the final spacecraft testing including acoustics, instrument deployments and thermal balance tests."

InSight is the first mission to focus on examining the deep interior of Mars. Information gathered will boost understanding of how all rocky planets formed, including Earth.

"Because the interior of Mars has churned much less than Earth's in the past three billion years, Mars likely preserves evidence about rocky planets' infancy better than our home planet does," said InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. He leads the international team that proposed the mission and won NASA selection in a competition with 27 other proposals for missions throughout the solar system. The long form of InSight's name is Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.

Whichever day the mission launches during a five-week period beginning May 5, 2018, navigators have charted the flight to reach Mars the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2018.

The mission will place a stationary lander near Mars' equator. With two solar panels that unfold like paper fans, the lander spans about 20 feet (6 meters). Within weeks after the landing -- always a dramatic challenge on Mars -- InSight will use a robotic arm to place its two main instruments directly and permanently onto the Martian ground, an unprecedented set of activities on Mars. These two instruments are:

-- A seismometer, supplied by France's space agency, CNES, with collaboration from the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Germany. Shielded from wind and with sensitivity fine enough to detect ground movements half the diameter of a hydrogen atom, it will record seismic waves from "marsquakes" or meteor impacts that reveal information about the planet's interior layers.

-- A heat probe, designed to hammer itself to a depth of 10 feet (3 meters) or more and measure the amount of energy coming from the planet's deep interior. The heat probe is supplied by the German Aerospace Center, DLR, with the self-hammering mechanism from Poland.

A third experiment will use radio transmissions between Mars and Earth to assess perturbations in how Mars rotates on its axis, which are clues about the size of the planet's core.

The spacecraft's science payload also is on track for next year's launch. The mission's launch was originally planned for March 2016, but was called off due to a leak into a metal container designed to maintain near-vacuum conditions around the seismometer's main sensors. A redesigned vacuum vessel for the instrument has been built and tested, then combined with the instrument's other components and tested again. The full seismometer instrument was delivered to the Lockheed Martin spacecraft assembly facility in Colorado in July and has been installed on the lander.

"We have fixed the problem we had two years ago, and we are eagerly preparing for launch," said InSight Project Manager Tom Hoffman, of JPL.

The best planetary geometry for launches to Mars occurs during opportunities about 26 months apart and lasting only a few weeks.

JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the InSight Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, which is managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Together with two active NASA Mars rovers, three NASA Mars orbiters and a Mars rover being built for launch in 2020, InSight is part of a legacy of robotic exploration that is helping to lay the groundwork for sending humans to Mars in the 2030s.

More information about InSight is online at:

https://www.nasa.gov/insight

https://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6934

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Spotlight Space: Exploring Mars’ Interior

LockheedMartinVideos
Published on Nov 1, 2017

We’re going behind the scenes to spotlight the latest space technology in this edition of Spotlight Space. NASA’s InSight lander will explore Mars’ interior and will be the first to record measurements of Mars’ interior, providing scientists with the greatest clues yet into evolutionary processes that shaped the rocky planets. In this episode, we’ll show you how it’s built for space and how the spacecraft will serve NASA. As leaders in space technology, Lockheed Martin is developing the latest spacecraft and satellites to explore the universe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX_oyiP_nKM?t=001



Tony De La Rosa

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