Mission Timeline SummaryInSight is scheduled to launch in May 2018, followed by six months of cruise to Mars, arrival, and Mars surface operations.
The phases of the InSight mission include:
|Pre-Launch||Preparing for the mission includes pre-project planning, science definition and instrument selection, landing site selection, assembly and testing, and delivery of the spacecraft to Vandenberg Air Force Base.|
|Launch||Liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base on an Atlas V-401 rocket is scheduled for May 2018, in the pre-dawn hours. This is the first interplanetary launch from the west coast.|
|Cruise||The time between InSight’s launch and arrival at Mars is called the cruise phase of the mission. This part of the trip takes about six months.|
|Approach||The approach phase begins about 60 days before landing with a series of checkouts.|
|Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL)||The EDL phase is InSight’s final plunge through the Martian atmosphere. It lasts about six minutes and delivers the lander safely to the surface.|
|Surface Ops||After a safe landing, InSight deploys its instruments in preparation for surface operations. The lander begins its day-to-day science activities about 30 days into the mission.|