Pre-Launch

Unique Look at the Mars InSight Spacecraft | 360-Degree Video

Get a unique perspective of the InSight spacecraft coming out of its shipping container in the clean room at Lockheed Martin Littleton, Colo. 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.

InSight Pre-Launch Activities Include:

Pre-Project Planning: Pre-project planning includes Phase A, in which InSight completes its concept and requirements definition. Phase B includes preliminary design and technology development.
Science Definition and Instrument Selection: NASA selects a team of scientists to propose mission objectives and desired capabilities. The scientific community proposes instruments capable of meeting mission objectives.
Final Design and Fabrication: The InSight mission team builds parts of the lander and its spacecraft in Phase C.
Landing Site Selection: InSight will land in Elysium Planitia, an equatorial plain. Its purpose is to study the interior of Mars, which requires a smooth, flat surface chosen for its safety considerations.
Assembly and Testing: Engineers assemble and test the InSight spacecraft at Lockheed Martin in Denver, CO (Phase D).
Shipping the Spacecraft to Vandenberg Air Force Base: The InSight lander journeys from its Denver birthplace to California in preparation for launch.
Assembly and Testing at Vandenberg Air Force Base: Once InSight arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base, the mission team has considerable work to prepare the spacecraft for final assembly and launch.