August 18, 2019

Atlas 5/InSight launch windows


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Artist’s concept of the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket on its launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Credit: NASA

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying NASA’s InSight lander toward Mars will have a roughly two-hour predawn launch window each day from May 5 through June 8 to boost the science probe into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The nearly five-week launch period is dictated by the positions of Earth and Mars in the solar system, an alignment that occurs once every 26 months to make a direct journey between the planets possible.

The exact duration of the launch window varies day-to-day, but around two hours will be available each day, according to NASA. A unique launch opportunity is available every five minutes during each day’s launch window.

InSight’s landing on Mars will occur Nov. 26 around 3 p.m. EST (12 p.m. PST; 0800 GMT), no matter which day the probe blasts off from California. InSight is designed to study the deep interior structure of Mars with a pair of scientific instruments for at least two years.

Here are are the times for the opening of each day’s launch window from May 5 through June 8 (Data source: NASA/JPL):

  • May 5: 4:05 a.m. PDT (7:05 a.m. EDT; 1105 GMT)
  • May 6: 3:55 a.m. PDT (6:55 a.m. EDT; 1055 GMT)
  • May 7: 3:50 a.m. PDT (6:50 a.m. EDT; 1050 GMT)
  • May 8: 3:40 a.m. PDT (6:40 a.m. EDT; 1040 GMT)
  • May 9: 3:35 a.m. PDT (6:35 a.m. EDT; 1035 GMT)
  • May 10: 3:30 a.m. PDT (6:30 a.m. EDT; 1030 GMT)
  • May 11: 3:20 a.m. PDT (6:20 a.m. EDT; 1020 GMT)
  • May 12: 3:15 a.m. PDT (6:15 a.m. EDT; 1015 GMT)
  • May 13: 3:10 a.m. PDT (6:10 a.m. EDT; 1010 GMT)
  • May 14: 3:00 a.m. PDT (6:00 a.m. EDT; 1000 GMT)
  • May 15: 2:55 a.m. PDT (5:55 a.m. EDT; 0955 GMT)
  • May 16: 2:45 a.m. PDT (5:45 a.m. EDT; 0945 GMT)
  • May 17: 2:40 a.m. PDT (5:40 a.m. EDT; 0940 GMT)
  • May 18: 2:35 a.m. PDT (5:35 a.m. EDT; 0935 GMT)
  • May 19: 2:25 a.m. PDT (5:25 a.m. EDT; 0925 GMT)
  • May 20: 2:20 a.m. PDT (5:20 a.m. EDT: 0920 GMT)
  • May 21: 2:10 a.m. PDT (5:10 a.m. EDT; 0910 GMT)
  • May 22: 2:05 a.m. PDT (5:05 a.m. EDT; 0905 GMT)
  • May 23: 2:00 a.m. PDT (5:00 a.m. EDT; 0900 GMT)
  • May 24: 1:50 a.m. PDT (4:50 a.m. EDT; 0850 GMT)
  • May 25: 1:45 a.m. PDT (4:45 a.m. EDT; 0845 GMT)
  • May 26: 1:40 a.m. PDT (4:40 a.m. EDT; 0840 GMT)
  • May 27: 1:35 a.m. PDT (4:35 a.m. EDT; 0835 GMT)
  • May 28: 1:30 a.m. PDT (4:30 a.m. EDT; 0830 GMT)
  • May 29: 1:25 a.m. PDT (4:25 a.m. EDT; 0825 GMT)
  • May 30: 1:20 a.m. PDT (4:20 a.m. EDT; 0820 GMT)
  • May 31: 1:10 a.m. PDT (4:10 a.m. EDT; 0810 GMT)
  • June 1: 1:05 a.m. PDT (4:05 a.m. EDT; 0805 GMT)
  • June 2: 1:00 a.m. PDT (4:00 a.m. EDT; 0800 GMT)
  • June 3: 12:55 a.m. PDT (3:55 a.m. EDT; 0755 GMT)
  • June 4: 12:50 a.m. PDT (3:50 a.m. EDT; 0750 GMT)
  • June 5: 12:45 a.m. PDT (3:45 a.m. EDT; 0745 GMT)
  • June 6: 12:40 a.m. PDT (3:40 a.m. EDT; 0740 GMT)
  • June 7: 12:35 a.m. PDT (3:35 a.m. EDT; 0735 GMT)
  • June 8: 12:30 a.m. PDT (3:30 a.m. EDT; 0730 GMT)

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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