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December 12
1891 - Actor Buck Jones, a Placerita and Vasquez "regular," born in Indiana [story]


NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to study the deep interior of Mars is targeting a new launch window that begins May 5, 2018, with a Mars landing scheduled for Nov. 26, 2018.

InSight’s primary goal is to help us understand how rocky planets – including Earth – formed and evolved. The spacecraft had been on track to launch this month until a vacuum leak in its prime science instrument prompted NASA in December to suspend preparations for launch.

InSight project managers recently briefed officials at NASA and France’s space agency, Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), on a path forward; the proposed plan to redesign the science instrument was accepted in support of a 2018 launch.

“The science goals of InSight are compelling, and the NASA and CNES plans to overcome the technical challenges are sound,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “The quest to understand the interior of Mars has been a longstanding goal of planetary scientists for decades. We’re excited to be back on the path for a launch, now in 2018.”

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, will redesign, build and conduct qualifications of the new vacuum enclosure for the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), the component that failed in December. CNES will lead instrument level integration and test activities, allowing the InSight Project to take advantage of each organization’s proven strengths. The two agencies have worked closely together to establish a project schedule that accommodates these plans, and scheduled interim reviews over the next six months to assess technical progress and continued feasibility.

The cost of the two-year delay is being assessed. An estimate is expected in August, once arrangements with the launch vehicle provider have been made.

The seismometer instrument’s main sensors need to operate within a vacuum chamber to provide the exquisite sensitivity needed for measuring ground movements as small as half the radius of a hydrogen atom. The rework of the seismometer’s vacuum container will result in a finished, thoroughly tested instrument in 2017 that will maintain a high degree of vacuum around the sensors through rigors of launch, landing, deployment and a two-year prime mission on the surface of Mars.

The InSight mission draws upon a strong international partnership led by Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt of JPL. The lander’s Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package is provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). This probe will hammer itself to a depth of about 16 feet (five meters) into the ground beside the lander.

SEIS was built with the participation of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, with support from the Swiss Space Office and the European Space Agency PRODEX program; the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, supported by DLR; Imperial College, supported by the United Kingdom Space Agency; and JPL.

“The shared and renewed commitment to this mission continues our collaboration to find clues in the heart of Mars about the early evolution of our solar system,” said Marc Pircher, director of CNES’s Toulouse Space Centre.

The mission’s international science team includes researchers from Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

JPL manages InSight for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. InSight is part of NASA’s Discovery Program, managed by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The InSight spacecraft, including cruise stage and lander, was built and tested by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver. It was delivered to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in December 2015 in preparation for launch, and returned to Lockheed Martin’s Colorado facility last month for storage until spacecraft preparations resume in 2017.

NASA is on an ambitious journey to Mars that includes sending humans to the Red Planet, and that work remains on track. Robotic spacecraft are leading the way for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, with the upcoming Mars 2020 rover being designed and built, the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers exploring the Martian surface, the Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft currently orbiting the planet, along with the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) orbiter, which is helping scientists understand what happened to the Martian atmosphere.

NASA and CNES also are participating in ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) Mars Express mission currently operating at Mars. NASA is participating on ESA’s 2016 and 2018 ExoMars missions, including providing telecommunication radios for ESA’s 2016 orbiter and a critical element of a key astrobiology instrument on the 2018 ExoMars rover.

For addition information about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/insight

More information about NASA’s journey to Mars is available online at: http://www.nasa.gov/journeytomars

 

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018
McLean Named Santa Clarita Mayor in Contentious 3-2 Vote
After a contentious discussion lasting nearly 20 minutes Tuesday night, the five-member Santa Clarita City Council voted 3-2 to appoint Mayor Pro-Tem Marsha McLean the city's new mayor, with outgoing Mayor Laurene Weste casting the deciding vote.
Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018
Deputies Nab Napping Convicted Felon on New Charges in Castaic
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies nabbed a napping convicted felon from Wasco in Castaic Monday night and arrested him on felony and misdemeanor weapons and drug charges, according to officials.
Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018
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After a contentious discussion lasting nearly 20 minutes Tuesday night, the five-member Santa Clarita City Council voted 3-2 to appoint Mayor Pro-Tem Marsha McLean the city's new mayor, with outgoing Mayor Laurene Weste casting the deciding vote.
McLean Named Santa Clarita Mayor in Contentious 3-2 Vote
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies nabbed a napping convicted felon from Wasco in Castaic Monday night and arrested him on felony and misdemeanor weapons and drug charges, according to officials.
Deputies Nab Napping Convicted Felon on New Charges in Castaic
1891 - Actor Buck Jones, a Placerita and Vasquez "regular," born in Indiana [story]
After a new threat was discovered on the California State University, Northridge, campus, CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D., released a statement regarding final exams scheduled for Dec. 12.
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LANCASTER – The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (2-8) earned their second victory in as many contests, defeating the Flames of Bethesda University of California (1-8), 110-65, Monday, in intercollegiate men’s basketball action at the Pioneer Event Center.
Pioneers Roll Past Bethesda
Join the Valley Industry Association (VIA) as they review and close the 2018 year and formally install the 2019 Valley Industry Association Board of Directors.
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1922 - Piru bank robbed, banker and daughter kidnapped [story]
The county of Los Angeles officially filed a comment on Monday in opposition to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Citizenship and Immigration Services’ proposed “public charge” rule change.
LA County Opposes Feds’ Proposed ‘Public Charge’ Rule Change
The next regular-organizational meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
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The rhetoric of playing a full 40 minutes can easily overshadow the reality of a college team's effort.
Lady Mustangs Defend Their Way to Win Over Hawks
All things considered, the Mustangs could have found themselves in a worse position in the closing moments of Saturday's game in El Cajon.
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UAV Men’s Basketball Team Downs La Sierra 76-61 in Opener
The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers women's basketball team (8-2; 1-0 Cal Pac) routed the La Sierra University (3-9; 0-1 Cal Pac) Golden Eagles 106-46 in Saturday's intercollegiate California Pacific Conference women’s basketball action in Riverside.
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The WiSH Education Foundation ends 2018 on a high note, having supported local public schools with more than $235,000.
WiSH Foundation 2018 Donations to SCV Schools Top $235K
The University of Antelope Valley is pleased to announce the hiring of Anthony Harris as its Director of Athletics.
Anthony Harris is New Athletics Director at UAV
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Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, introduced Senate Bill 53 (SB 53), legislation that will strengthen transparency in state agencies and stop agencies like the California High-Speed Rail Authority from taking advantage of a loophole that allows them to hold closed-door meetings without public involvement.
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The city of Santa Clarita has updated the list of productions shooting in the city and the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Dec. 10-16, 2018.
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Law enforcement and Coroner's officials discovered more human remains Saturday morning in the Santa Clara River bed in Newhall, near where a human skull was discovered Wednesday.
LASD, Coroner Investigating Human Skull, Remains Found in Newhall
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Several CalArtians are among the nominees announced Friday for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards to be handed out Feb. 10.
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CalArts faculty and students are among the 2018 Arts Writers Grant Program recipients from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
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The nonprofit Friends of Hart Park, in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, will present the 7th Annual Hart Holiday Boutique & Craft Fair at Hart Park on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will hear comments from the public about the proposed Centennial Specific Plan Project at their next meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, starting at 9:30 a.m.
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