InSight Mars lander launch preparations, May 2018

InSight Mars lander launch preparations, May 2018

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Credit: NASA, Bill Ingalls/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: InSight Mars lander launch preparations. Mobile service tower being rolled back during launch preparations for NASA's InSight Mars lander and associated CubeSats (Mars Cube One). The payloads have been mounted on top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander is designed for studying the interior of Mars. It will investigate the processes that formed and shaped Mars and its findings will improve understanding of the evolution of the inner solar system's rocky planets. Photographed at Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA. InSight was launched on 5 May 2018. It is scheduled to reach Mars in November 2018. Photographed on 4 May 2018.

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