(AP) — A NASA spacecraft is poised to blast off for Mars.
The Mars InSight lander is set to launch early Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It’s the first interplanetary mission to ever take off from the West Coast. It will take more than six months for the lander to reach Mars and start its unprecedented geologic excavations
Instruments on the lander will dig deeper into Mars than ever before — nearly 16 feet, or 5 meters — to take the planet’s temperature. It will also attempt to make the first measurements of marsquakes, using a seismometer placed directly on the Martian surface.
The Atlas V (five) rocket also holds a pair of mini satellites meant to trail the spacecraft all the way to Mars.