Launch Site Vandenberg
Launch Date: May 5, 2018 Launch Window: 11:05-13:05 UTC Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 401 Launch Operator: United Launch Alliance Launch Site: SLC-3E Vandenberg Air Force Base, California Payload: InSight Payload Type: Mars Exploration Lander for Geophysics Payload Operator: NASA A United Launch Alliance Atlas
|Launch Date:||May 5, 2018|
|Launch Window:||11:05-13:05 UTC|
|Launch Vehicle:||Atlas V 401|
|Launch Operator:||United Launch Alliance|
|Launch Site:||SLC-3E Vandenberg Air Force Base, California|
|Payload Type:||Mars Exploration Lander for Geophysics|
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch NASA’s InSight mission on a trajectory for landing on Mars in November 2018 to begin a mission of at least two years using a suite of instruments to study the planet’s interior to better understand the processes the shaped the rocky planets of the solar system, including our own. The mission has the full name of “Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport” and employs the overall design of the 2008 Phoenix Mars Lander with a payload suite comprising a high-fidelity seismometer, a self-penetrating heat-flow probe and a rotation and interior structure experiment. InSight is targeting a landing in Elysium Planitia.
The InSight Mission was delayed from the 2016 interplanetary launch window due to a critical fault discovered on the lander’s primary seismic instrument. To send InSight on its way, Atlas V will be flying in its basic 401 configuration without boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.
🛰 Secondary Payloads: MarCO CubeSats
🚀 Launch Vehicle Overview: Atlas V 401
(Saturday) 11:05 UTC
Launch Date: May 19, 2018 Launch Window: 20:03 UTC Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 FT Launch Operator: SpaceX Launch Site: SLC-4E Vandenberg Air Force Base, California 1st Stage Recovery: No Payload: 5 Iridium-NEXT, GRACE-FO 1 & 2 Payload Operator: Iridium Communications / GFZ/NASA A SpaceX
|Launch Date:||May 19, 2018|
|Launch Window:||20:03 UTC|
|Launch Vehicle:||Falcon 9 FT|
|Launch Site:||SLC-4E Vandenberg Air Force Base, California|
|1st Stage Recovery:||No|
|Payload:||5 Iridium-NEXT, GRACE-FO 1 & 2|
|Payload Operator:||Iridium Communications / GFZ/NASA|
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch five Iridium-NEXT mobile communications satellites and a pair of gravity-sensing satellites into Low Earth Orbit on a shared ride between Iridium Communications and GRACE-FO operators GFZ and NASA. SpaceX has been contracted to deploy 75 Iridium-NEXT satellites with deployment occurring in batches of ten, meaning one Falcon 9 would fly with half a load, leaving surplus performance for a co-passenger. The two GRACE Follow-On Satellites are flying as an extension of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment that has been tracking Earth’s gravitational field since 2002 and is headed into retirement in late 2017. GRACE shows how mass is distributed around the planet and its variation over time, allowing for modeling of Earth’s oceans, geology and climate.
The Iridium satellites are headed to orbit in the continued effort to replace the entire heritage Iridium constellation with upgraded satellites supporting global communications, aeronautical monitoring and ship tracking.
🚀 Launch Vehicle Overview: Falcon 9 FT
🛰 Payload Overview: Iridium-NEXT Satellite & Constellation
Previous Iridium-NEXT Missions:
(Saturday) 20:03 UTC