NASA just hours away from mission to Mars launch

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- NASA was only hours away from launching its latest mission to Mars Friday night, and Angelenos were getting ready to see the rocket fly by.

This is the first-ever mission to another planet launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base.

"It's going straight south, right by L.A. Millions of people, please get up and watch this beautiful launch," said Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA.

If you want to see the rocket, you'll need to be up to see it off by 4:05 a.m., or you could stay up all night.

"I'll probably stay up late to be able to see it in person," Sandra Temores said.

Previous launches out of Vandenburg have caused quite a stir in the Southland. One launch in December caused thousands of people to turn to social media thinking we were under attack.

"I thought it was aliens. I was like, uh-oh," Cole Edwards said.

Mars is a seven-month journey, and the lander will spend two years looking for seismic activity on the red planet.

The launch was originally scheduled for two years ago, but they had to set it back at the cost of about $150 million. There is a two-hour launch window Saturday. If they cannot launch for any reason, the deadline is until June 8 to send it into space.
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