Mission Timeline Overview

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    InSight Mission Timeline

    InSight launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on May 5, 2018. After a six-month cruise, InSight landed on Mars on Nov. 26, 2018, at 11:52:59 a.m. PT (2:52:59 p.m. ET) and began Mars surface operations.

    The phases of the InSight mission include:

    • Preparing for the mission included pre-project planning, science definition and instrument selection, landing site selection, assembly and testing, and delivery of the spacecraft to Vandenberg Air Force Base.

    • InSight lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on an Atlas V-401 on May 5, 2018, in the pre-dawn hours, at 4:05 a.m. PT (7:05 a.m. ET). This was the first interplanetary launch from the West Coast of the United States.

    • The time between InSight’s launch and arrival at Mars is called the cruise phase of the mission. This part of the trip took about six months.

    • The approach phase began about 60 days before landing with a series of checkouts.

    • The entry, descent, and landing phase was InSight’s final plunge through the Martian atmosphere. It lasted about six minutes and delivered the lander safely to the surface.

    • After a safe landing, InSight deployed its instruments in preparation for surface operations. The lander began its day-to-day science activities about 30 days into the mission.

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