Our viewing spot to watch the launch is dubbed the “Gravel Pit” — and it certainly lives up to its name. The area is essentially a large plot of rocks and dirt on the side of a small cliff. It’s touted as the best place to watch the rocket take off. That is, if the fog lets up.
I’m somewhere deep inside Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California, and I’m about to witness the launch of NASA’s InSight lander. The spacecraft is slated to ride into space on top of an Atlas V rocket, the premier vehicle of the United Launch Alliance. The mission will mark the first time NASA has ever launched a spacecraft to another planet form the West Coast. And it’s also my first time to see a launch from California.