Explore Lompoc | Official News Release | Lompoc to Host Visitors in May for Mission to Mars

Lompoc to Host Visitors in May for Mission to Mars

Mission to mars lander


Media Contacts:

Susan Bejeckian, Explore Lompoc PR Rep, 626-570-1051,
Maris Somerville, Explore Lompoc PR Rep, 310-508-1609,

NASA’s InSight Launch slated for May 5* from Vandenberg Space Force Base near Lompoc

Lompoc, California is the place to be for the much anticipated NASA launch of the InSight on its Mission to Mars. The launch is slated for May 5 at 4 am* from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Space Launch Complex-3 on an Atlas V-401. This will be the first planetary spacecraft to launch from this west coast launch facility.

“We are looking forward to supporting the first interplanetary launch from Vandenberg this May,” said Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing Commander. “The InSight Mission to Mars is the first lander to explore the interior and subsurface of that planet and we are working with the entire team of NASA, ULA and JPL to ensure this launch is safe and successful.”

The official public viewing location for the launch is at Lompoc Airport, 1801 N H Street, Lompoc, starting at 2:30 am. Visitors will be able to see the launch, watch NASA TV commentary from the tarmac, and meet NASA/InSight mission team members and city representatives. Several Lompoc hotels are located less than a mile from Lompoc Airport for fast, pre-dawn access to the public viewing location. A second public viewing location is at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 2800 Harris Grade Road, Lompoc, where visitors are welcome to see the launch from the church parking lot, and interact with NASA/InSight mission team members in attendance, starting at 3:00 am.

*The launch date and time are subject to change due to technical or weather issues.

“Lompoc is thrilled to be working with VSFB and NASA to make this a great visitor experience,” said Paul Patel, Board President for Explore Lompoc. “Hotels tend to fill up quickly whenever launches are scheduled at Vandenberg, so we encourage visitors to book early, and make plans to spend a few days exploring Lompoc and nearby attractions.”

Prior to the launch, scientists and engineers with NASA’s Mission to Mars will be bringing the The Mars Insight Roadshow to the Lompoc area May 2-4, 2018. The travelling show is designed to engage the public about the Mission with family-friendly, hands-on science activities, seismometer demonstrations, table-top exhibits and models, and public talks.

  • May 2, 3 to 8 pm: Exhibit at Dick DeWees Community & Senior Center, 1120 W Ocean Ave, Lompoc
  • May 3, 6:30 to 8 pm: Public Talk at Lompoc Public Library, 501 E North Ave, Lompoc
  • May 4, 1 to 8 pm: Exhibit and Public Talk at Allan Hancock College, Main Campus, 800 So. College Drive, Santa Maria, CA (30 minutes from Lompoc)


About Lompoc

Nestled in a fertile valley on the California Central Coast, less than 10 miles from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Lompoc offers visitors a wide range of adventures and attraction including La Purisma Mission State Historic Park, vibrant outdoor murals in Old Town, the Lompoc Wine Trail, biking, hiking, surfing, sky diving and world-class golf.

Situated where scenic Highway 1 meets Route 246, just 155 miles northwest from Los Angeles, Lompoc entices visitors year-round with its mild Mediterranean climate for mid-week escapes or weekend getaways. With 12 hotels to welcome visitors, the destination makes a great base for exploring nearby, neighboring towns, and Santa Barbara wine country.

For more information on Lompoc hotels and attractions:

Download high-resolution Lompoc images:


About NASA’s Insight Mission

InSight – The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport spacecraftwill be the first mission to look deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet’s interior by measuring its heat output and listening for marsquakes. It will use the seismic waves generated by marsquakes to develop a map of the planet’s deep interior. The resulting insight into Mars’ formation will help us better understand how other rocky planets, including Earth, were and are created.

The spacecraft will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket lifting off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg, making it also the first planetary mission to take off from the West Coast.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages the InSight mission for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. InSight is part of NASA’s Discovery Program, managed by its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The spacecraft, including cruise stage and lander, was built and tested by Lockheed Martin Space in Denver. Several European partners, including France’s space agency, the Centre National d’Étude Spatiales, and the German Aerospace Center, are supporting the mission. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, is providing the Atlas V launch service. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at its Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management.

 For more information about InSight:

 Download high-resolution InSight images:

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