Well Martians, we’re down to the final week! NASA’s InSight mission to Mars lifts off early Saturday morning and we’re travelling down to watch the event and cover it for you. Here’s what you can expect over the next week!
Beginning today, there’s an extensive Twitter preview of the mission happening over on our feed. Each day until Friday, we’re covering aspects of the mission in a shareable Twitter-thread format.
- Monday (April 30th) – Why InSight? Science Objectives
- Tuesday (May 1st) – History of the Mission
- Wednesday (May 2nd) – The Spacecraft
- Thursday (May 3rd) – The Science Instruments
- Friday (May 4th) – The Rocket & the Launch
At 1PM PDT/4PM EDT on May 3rd, NASA will hold a Pre-Launch Briefing that we will be covering over Twitter. The briefing will be live-streamed on NASA TV.
InSight launches at 4:05AM PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base. We’ll be in Lompoc, California outside the base looking for the best place to view the launch from. It becomes tricky balancing the desire to be close, but the desire to be high enough to avoid the infamous Vandenberg Marine Layer fog, which often blankets the area and can block your view of the rocket.
Once we find a spot we’ll be sure to do some Periscoping on Twitter!
Episode 41 will cover the story of InSight, from its humble beginnings, through it’s launch. We’re completing research this week, collecting audio on-site, and producing the episode early next week. Look for it in the WeMartians feed as early as Wednesday the 9th of May!
If you’re one of our Patreon Supporters, I’m going to be making an attempt to use Patreon’s new Lens feature to provide live video updates through the trip. This will be a nice low-overhead way for me to give you some closer looks at what’s going on.
I’ll be in the Off-Nominal Discord on Thursday for the Pre-Launch Briefing. You’ll also get at least one audio update with some early thoughts on the launch which I hope to get up quickly. I’ve also got some other goodies in store for you.
Get Up To Speed!
If you are behind on the mission, here are some resources to get you started.
- WeMartians Episode 2: Every Twenty Six Months (covers Mars launch windows and the InSight cancellation of 2016)
- WeMartians Episode 36: Systems Engineering InSights (interview with Farah Alibay, JPL Payload Systems Engineer, covering the spacecraft integration with its instruments and MarCO)
Trips like this are not free! Thanks to support from our Patrons, we’re able to travel down to launch events like this and provide on-site coverage. You can join this amazing community by helping out as well.
- If you love the podcast, consider becoming a Patron! For as little as $1/month you can make more trips like this happen.
- If you’re more of a casual fan, we also have some great InSight T-Shirts available for purchase!