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Mars Probe Successfully Launched From Central Coast Saturday Morning

The first ever West Coast launch of a space probe headed to Mars took place on the Central Coast early Saturday morning.

Thousands of people were at viewing spots on the Central and South Coasts to see the  Atlas V rocket carrying the NASA InSight spacecraft lift off at 4:05 a.m.

InSight is expected to arrive at Mars in late November. If it lands safely, its instruments are expected to provide new information on the makeup of the planet, and a seismometer will even measure "marsquakes," the Mars version of what we know as earthquakes.

The rocket also carried two tiny communications satellites prepared in conjunction with Cal Poly students.

If they deploy successfully, the CubeSats will help relay information from InSight back to earth.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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