FILE PHOTO: The Mars InSight probe is shown in this artist's rendition operating on the surface of Mars, due to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S. on May 5, 2018 in this image obtained on May 3, 2018. NASA/ Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Topics: Mars, NASA, Planetary Science, Space Exploration

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After decades exploring the surface of Mars, NASA is set for the weekend launch of its first robotic lander dedicated to studying the red planet’s deep interior, with instruments to detect planetary seismic rumblings never measured anywhere but Earth.

The Mars InSight probe is due for liftoff on Saturday before dawn from Vandenberg Air Force Base near the central California coast, treating early risers across a wide region to the luminous spectacle of the first interplanetary spacecraft to be launched from the U.S. West Coast.

The lander will be carried aloft for NASA and its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) atop a powerful, 19-story Atlas 5 rocket from the fleet of United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co.

InSight will be released about 90 minutes after launch on a 301 million-mile (548 km) flight to Mars, and is due to reach its destination six months later, landing on a flat, smooth plain close to the planet’s equator called the Elysium Planitia.

The 800-pound (360 kg) spacecraft - its name is short for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport - marks the 21st U.S.-launched Martian exploration, dating back to the Mariner fly-by missions of the 1960s. Nearly two dozen other Mars missions have been launched by other nations.

Spacecraft for detecting 'Marsquakes' set for rare California launch, Steve Gorman, Reuters Science

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Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on September 20, 2018 at 5:30am 0 Comments

A group of researchers recently observed a mysterious infrared emission coming from near a pulsar in NASA's Hubble Space telescope data. This animation depicts one possible source of the emission: a "fallback disk" or a disk that formed from materials of the parent star falling back into the neutron star after a supernova. Credit: ESA/N. Tr’Ehnl (Pennsylvania State University)/NASA

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Posted by Turtel Onli on September 19, 2018 at 8:30am 0 Comments

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Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on September 19, 2018 at 5:30am 0 Comments

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Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on September 18, 2018 at 5:30am 0 Comments

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Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on September 17, 2018 at 5:30am 0 Comments

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Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on September 14, 2018 at 5:30am 0 Comments

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Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on September 13, 2018 at 5:30am 0 Comments

Image Source: DC Wiki

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Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on September 12, 2018 at 5:30am 0 Comments

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