LAUNCH: MAY 5, 2018 4:05AM*
Two Public Viewing Locations in Lompoc!
* Launch date and time are subject to change due to technical or weather issues.
Lompoc, California is the place to be for the much anticipated NASA launch of the InSight mission to Mars.
The launch is slated for May 5 at 4:05 am* from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Space Launch Complex-3 on an Atlas V-401. InSight will be the first planetary spacecraft to launch from this west coast launch facility.
The City of Lompoc is opening two locations for official public viewing of the May 5 launch:
View the launch from the Lompoc Airport, see NASA TV commentary from the tarmac, and meet NASA/InSight Mission team members and city representatives.
Arrive no earlier than 2:30 am. NASA TV coverage begins at 3:30 am. Parking is off O Street.
1801 North H St, Lompoc, CA 93436 Get directions
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
View the launch from the hillside church parking lot, and interact with NASA/InSight mission team members.
Arrive no earlier than 2:30 am. Launch commentary via NASA TV begins at 3:30 am.
2800 Harris Grade Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436 Get directions
Prior to the launch, from May 2 to 4, NASA’s Mars InSight Roadshow will be on display at several locations in and near Lompoc. The traveling show engages the public about the Mission with hands-on science activities, seismometer demonstrations, table-top exhibits and models, and public talks.
Lompoc hotels fill up quickly for launches, so make plans now to witness the start of an interplanetary journey. Several Lompoc hotels are located less than a mile from Lompoc Airport for quick, pre-dawn access to the public viewing location. Book your Hotel
Spend a few days Lompoc, and explore all that this Central Coast town has to offer… wine tasting, hiking, golf, skydiving, tours of La Purisima Mission, murals in Old town and nearby Jalama Beach. More about Lompoc
About the Mission
According to NASA, this is not merely a Mars mission. InSight will "literally dig deep into the history of Mars in order to determine how the inner solar system planets were created. This terrestrial planet explorer will investigate the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system (including Earth) more than four billion years ago."
InSight stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. It will be the first mission to study the deep interior of Mars, using an ultra-sensitive seismometer, a heat-flow probe and other instruments.
Mars InSight Roadshow
Scientists and engineers with NASA’s Mission to Mars will be touring California in preparation for its May launch. The Mars Insight Roadshow will be in the Lompoc area May 2-4, 2018.
The Roadshow brings family-friendly science activities, exhibits and public talks! Stop by, chat with NASA scientists and engineers, and learn about marsquakes, and how InSight will study in-depth the “inner space” of Mars: its crust, mantle and core.
It’s a not-to-be-missed experience for all ages!
May 2, 3-8pm
Exhibit at Dick DeWees
Community & Senior Center
1120 W Ocean Ave
Lompoc, CA 93436
May 3, 6:30-8pm
Public Talk at Lompoc
501 E North Ave
Lompoc, CA 93436
May 4, 1-8pm
Exhibit and Public Talk at
Allan Hancock College
800 S. College Dr
Santa Maria, CA 93545
Vandenberg Air Force Base
Vandenberg Air Force Base is one of the nation’s most important military and space installations, where unmanned test missiles and satellites are launched throughout the year.
Generally, missile launch days and times are released five days in advance, and are subject to change based on weather conditions and/or mechanical challenges. Call (805) 606-8263 for the latest info.
Vandenberg Base Access and Tours
Vandenberg AFB is designated as a closed installation. However, the 30th Space Wing Public Affairs office hosts monthly visits to the Vandenberg Space and Missile Heritage Center at Historic Space Launch Complex-10 are on the third Tuesday of each month at 1 pm.
Space Launch Complex-10 is the only landmark at Vandenberg AFB to be listed on the national Registry of Historic Places. It is the site of Thor missile tests and Thor/Agena space launches.
The Space and Missile Heritage Center pulls together the history of SLC-10 and all west-coast launch programs as it tells the story of the critical role Vandenberg AFB plays in launching commercial, national security, and scientific polar-orbiting satellites. Vandenberg is the only west-coast spaceport and provides unique capabilities for assured access to and from space.
All participants in these monthly visits must register and provide full name, date of birth, and driver’s license number at least 15 days in advance by e-mailing 30SW.PA.Workflow@us.af.mil