The Lompoc Vision
“Good News You Can Use.”
“Mars InSight Landing”
by Rebecca Ross
The Lompoc Music Association will hold its annual music scholarship auditions on February 2, 2019, at 10:00 a.m at the Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ at 3346
Constellation Road in Vandenberg Village.
Money scholarships are awarded to serious students of music who are at least 14 years of age and not yet 19 years of age and who reside within the boundaries of the Lompoc
Unified School District.
Application forms are available at the counselors and music department offices of Lompoc High School and Cabrillo High School, at the Lompoc School of Music at 601 E. Ocean,
and at the Lompoc Library at 501 E. North Avenue. Completed applications must arrive by January 30, 2019, at the mailbox of the Lompoc Music Association, P. O. Box 734, Lom-
poc, CA. 93438.
Scholarship auditions will be held beginning at 10:00 a.m. Applicants will be notified of their scheduled time to audition, from 10:00 a.m. onward.
Accompanists of applicants must be real people. Accompaniment by recorded device is not acceptable.
Both vocalists and instrumentalists may audition. First place scholarship winner last year was Josiah Frias on classical guitar; second place winner was Maree Baird on piano; and
third place winner was Johnny Kassis on piano.
For more information, contact Jean Jacoby at 805-736-8713.
Lompoc Music Association Scholarship Auditions Announced
ompoc may be dubbed the “City of Arts and Flowers”, but we have another
important legacy as well, thanks to Vandenberg Air Force Base. VAFB (in
the slim chance you don’t already know) is the headquarters of the 30th
Space Wing that manages Department of Defense space and missile testing and
places satellites into polar orbit from the West Coast.
In May, NASA launched InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Inves-
tigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport), a robotic lander designed to study the
interior of Mars. Since all of my knowledge of space exploration comes primarily
from books and films (Apollo 13, The Martian, Astronaut Wives Club), NASA
will be my co-pilot for Rebecca’s Corner this week.
“[Our] InSight mission is the first outer space robotic explorer to study in-depth
the ‘inner space’ of Mars: its crust, mantle and core,” NASA says. “Studying
Mars’ interior structure answers key questions about the early formation of rocky
planets in our inner solar system. After our solar system formed, convection in
Mars’ interior slowed dramatically or may have come to a complete stop, unlike
here on Earth. The interior of Mars thus preserves a record of how the core, mantle, and crust of rocky planets form.”
I will admit that I was surprised by how fasci-
nating I found all of this. What could have been
just words on a page came to life for me when
I attended one of the many viewing parties held
around the world in anticipation of the InSight
landing on November 26th. I felt a little like a
kid going on a field trip to the planetarium. And I
mean that in the best way! I was excited to learn,
excited to witness the drama surrounding the lat-
est mission to Mars.
My brother and I chose to attend the Lompoc Li-
brary’s viewing party and, as we entered the dark-
ened Grossman Gallery, were greeted by members
of the Vandenberg Amateur Astronomical Society,
various InSight materials from NASA, and a giant
screen plugged into the live feed from the Jet Pro-
pulsion Laboratory (JPL) in La Cañada Flintridge.
The room was quiet, the dozen or so guests riveted to the screen, a sense of anticipation in the air. As we waited, we
learned bit about the InSight mission like Lander details (it weighs 794 pounds, has two 7-foot solar panels, is 5’1” wide
and 19’8” long with panels deployed, and a 3D camera), information about the landing site (Elysium Planitia is “a broad,
smooth plain with about 16-32 feet of loose soil and rocks overlying ancient lava flows,” according to NASA), and other
stats (About 30 GB of data will be collected over one Martian year, or two Earth years).
In various interviews we were told that of the 17 Mars missions, 10 have crashed and that everything would have to go
perfectly for a successful landing. It was likened to shooting a basketball from the Staples Center in L.A. and swishing it
through the net at Madison Square Garden in New York. No pressure!
The Gallery was filling up and, with the exception of an excited toddler, you could hear a pin drop. We received regular
updates from Mission Control and got to watch the rows of men and women in burgundy button-ups staring intently at
their computer screens and whispering to one another. Then it was announced – five minutes to entry! Over the next 300
seconds we listened in on their headsets and heard announcements like “MarCOs have telemetry” and “InSight telemetry
via MarCO” and “Entry on my mark”, each one followed
by clapping from Mission Control, every moment one step
closer to a successful landing. We all sat on the edge of
our seats during the plasma blackout when the heat shield
reached 3000 degrees F. Once the parachute deployed and
the heat shield separated, they began counting down 300
meters, 200 meters, 80 meters, 60 meters, 50 meters, 37
meters, 30 meters, 20 meters, 17 meters. Standby touch-
down. Then those two little words: Touchdown confirmed!
Everyone watching clapped and cheered, though our cel-
ebration was nothing compared to the eruption in Mission
Control! Everyone jumped up, clapping, hugging, high-fiv-
ing, fist-bumping, hand-shaking, and breathing huge sighs
of relief. We watched as the initial cheers died down and
they all crowded around each other’s monitors waiting for
the first image of Mars to pop up. When it did there were
more cheers, more clapping. And really that was just the
“It was flawless,” NASA’s Rob Manning said. “It was
what we hoped and imagined in our mind’s eye. InSight is
1st ANNUAL HONEY TASTING
Get a unique chance to sample various varieties of honey
from the Central Coast.
Beekeeper Archie Mitchell will be presenting the numer-
ous types of flavors that local honey has to offer. Come join
us for the unique experience.
Saturday, January 26th
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: DeWees Community and Senior
Center, Room 105/106
Fees: $20.00 per person