On the eve of the first Mars mission to be launched from the West Coast, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a proclamation declaring Friday “Space Day” in California.
If the weather is clear, the launch could light up the sky for early risers in Southern California.
The 800-pound InSight lander is scheduled to touch down on Nov. 26 in an area along the planet’s equator called Elysium Planitia.
The spacecraft’s two-year mission, led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, is to investigate the interior structure and composition of Mars using a seismograph and special probes. The mission will also determine the rate of Martian tectonic activity and meteorite impacts.
“California’s universities, research institutes and aerospace businesses have made the Golden State a world leader in space science and exploration,” said Brown in his proclamation. “This historic mission will lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, marking the first interplanetary launch from the West Coast.”
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