|Launch Date||May 5, 2018 | 11:05 UTC|
|Launch Site||Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA|
Demonstrate the ability of small satellites to explore deep space and provide real-time information in support of critical landing operations on a distant world.
MarCO, for Mars Cube One, will provide an experimental communications relay to inform Earth quickly about the landing. The two briefcase-size MarCO CubeSats launched with the InSight lander on an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The MarCO twins and InSight were be navigated separately to Mars. The trio of spacecraft will arrive at Mars at the same time and the MarC) spacecrafts served as redundant communications relay of InSight’s entry, descent and landing data.
MarCO A and B successfully completed their mission as communications relay satellites for the InSight Mars landing on Nov. 26, 2018. The spacecraft will end up in orbit around the Sun.
May 5, 2018: Launch (with InSight lander)
Nov. 26, 2018: Mars Flyby / Relay Operations
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V
Spacecraft Mass: The basic CubeSat unit is a box roughly 4 inches (10 centimeters) square. Larger CubeSats are multiples of that unit. MarCO's design is a six-unit CubeSat - about the size of a briefcase -- with a stowed size of about 14.4 inches (36.6 centimeters) by 9.5 inches (24.3 centimeters) by 4.6 inches (11.8 centimeters).
UHF Radio Receiver
X Band Radio Transmitter