Mars-bound NASA launch will be seen from San Diego

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - If you look up to the early morning sky on next week, there's a good chance you'll catch NASA's rocket launch.

NASA's InSight is scheduled to launch May 5 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California between 4:05 a.m. and 6:05 a.m., weather permitting. The launch will be NASA's first interplanetary launch on the West Coast.

Insight will launch atop an Atlas V rocket, one of the biggest available to make the 301-million mile voyage.

And if you live in Southern California, you'll have a front-row seat.

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"If you live on the California Central Coast or south to L.A. and San Diego, be sure to get up early on May 5th, because Atlas V is the gold standard in launch vehicles and it can put on a great show," Tim Dunn, launch director for the Launch Services Program at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida, said.

If the launch is scraped, NASA has given a six-month time window to set InSight for Mars. Whenever InSight launches in this window, it would be scheduled to arrive at Mars Nov. 26, 2018, around 12 p.m.

"If you live in Southern California and the weather is right, you'll probably have a better view of the launch than I will," said Tom Hoffman, project manager for NASA's InSight mission, who will be in the control room during launch.

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InSight will deliver a lander and two satellites to the Red Planet to investigate how the planet was formed and has evolved over time. It will also measure Mar's seismic activity and how meteorites have affected the planet.

The mission is estimated to last about two years.

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