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Launch Photos: NASA's InSight Mars Lander Blasts Off on Atlas V Rocket

Nearing Booster Engine Cutoff

NASA

The Atlas V rocket is shown just before Booster Engine Cutoff (BECO).

InSight Booster Engine Cutoff

NASA

As InSight makes its way to space, the Atlas V rocket’s booster engines cut off about 4 minutes after liftoff.

Next Stop: The Red Planet!

NASA

NASA's Mars InSight mission soars into the sky after an early-morning liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

InSight at Space Launch Complex 3

Charles Babir/NASA

The United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket stands tall at Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The rocket’s main booster measures 107 feet (32.5 meters) long. With the payload stacked on top, it stands 188 feet (57.3 meters) tall. Its upper stage is a Centaur rocket that will insert InSight into a low Earth orbit before accelerating it out of Earth’s gravitational pull and on track to the Red Planet.

NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green Discusses InSight

NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green discusses NASA's InSight mission during a prelaunch media briefing, Thursday, May 3, 2018, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

InSight Meets the Press

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Col. Michael Hough, Commander 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg Air Force Base, left, and 1st Lieutenant Kristina Williams, weather officer, 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg Air Force Base, discuss NASA's InSight mission during a prelaunch media briefing, Thursday, May 3, 2018, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

insight-first-west-coast-interplanetary-launch02

USAF 30th Space Wing

At Space Launch Complex 3 (SLC-3) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, a crane hoists NASA's InSight lander inside its fairing for mating atop a ULA Atlas V rocket.

InSight Mars Lander Payload Rollout

USAF 30th Space Wing/Daniel Herrera

NASA's InSight Mars lander, tucked inside its protective payload fairing, is moved to the launchpad to be attached to its United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The mission will launch on May 5, 2018.

Space Launch Complex 3

Charles Babir/NASA

The gantry rolls back at Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in preparation for the liftoff of NASA's InSight Mars lander.

All Packed Up

collectSPACE.com

NASA’s InSight Mars lander, seen inside its spacecraft's backshell on April 6, 2018 as it was being prepared for launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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