On the floor with InSight during solar array test. Shameless selfie!
Credit: Leonard David

 

Littleton, Colorado – NASA’s next Mars mission is reaching “ship and shoot” status, a lander geared this year to start probing the Red Planet’s deep interior and even eavesdrop on rumbling Marsquakes.

As spacecraft names go, it’s a mouthful: Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. That has been mercifully shortened to InSight.

Credit: Lockheed Martin

A wonderful moment early this morning for Barbara and myself at Lockheed Martin Space Systems – the unfurling of the solar arrays on the InSight Mars spacecraft.

Barbara on photo shoot with InSight Mars lander.
Credit: Leonard David

Technicians took great care in monitoring the deployment of the solar panels, a final test before being reeled back in on the Mars-bound craft.

 

 

 

 

The InSight Mars lander is nearing its Colorado departure to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Liftoff of the spacecraft is targeted for May 5th!

On hand for solar array deployment testing: Bruce Banerdt, InSight Principal Investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California.
Credit: Leonard David

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, here is a video from today’s solar array deployment test:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZk2Aipj-rw

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