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May 18, 2011
Thousands of science fans convened last weekend at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to learn more about extraterrestrial science and exploration when JPL opened its doors for its annual open house. The purpose of the event is to communicate to the public the importance of the scientific work being done at JPL and to stimulate young minds to the possibilities of continued exploration. This year’s theme, “Excitement in Explorations,” gave scientists and engineers a chance to explain their favorite gadgets, ideas and projects from the past year and to share their plans for the future.
April 18, 2013
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is suspending the open house that had been scheduled for June 8 and 9, making the popular yearly gathering the latest casualty of the automatic federal budget cuts known as sequestration. The “difficult decision” to put off the event was reached Tuesday, JPL spokeswoman Veronica McGregor said in an e-mail to The Times.  “If we can hold it later in the year after the budgetary dust settles, we will,” she wrote. Last month, NASA issued an internal memo suspending “all education and public outreach activities … pending further review” because of sequestration.
By Tiffany Kelly, | November 30, 2011
Scientists and engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory are working around the clock this week to monitor Curiosity, the largest-ever Mars rover, which was launched Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “This is the most capable and complex science mission we ever sent to Mars,” Michael Watkins, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission manager, said at JPL on Tuesday. “It's really an amazing machine.” The mission is expected to last one Mars year, or two Earth years, once it lands at about 5 p.m. Aug. 5. More than 200 scientists around the world are involved in the project, with 250 engineers at JPL working on keeping the rover healthy and ensuring that it lands at its desired location in the Red Planet's Gale Crater.
By Sara Cardine and Veronica Rocha, | May 16, 2011
Crews quickly put out a 5-acre brush fire Monday afternoon in the hills near the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. More than 100 firefighters responded to the fire in light to medium brush after it was reported about 12:33 p.m. Water-dropping helicopters were brought in as firefighters worked to catch the blaze at a ridge, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Quvondo Johnson. No injuries were reported, and JPL facilities were not damaged, officials said. The fire was knocked down at 1:53 p.m. A spokeswoman for JPL said operations at the campus were unaffected.
May 14, 2012
A scientific instrument designed to take the most meaningful snapshot yet of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere is on its way to space, via a lengthy testing detour in Arizona. On May 9 Jet Propulsion Laboratory workers in La Canada Flintridge sent the instrument, part of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, to Gilbert, Ariz., where it will be tested and integrated with the satellite that will house it. NASA plans to launch the OCO-2 from Vandenberg Air Force Base by the summer of 2014.
By Tiffany Kelly, | April 4, 2013
Thirty-two students in aerospace, engineering and science programs in 11 different countries descended on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory last week as part of a Caltech competition to design a mission to one of Mars' two moons, Phobos or Deimos. "Watching the enthusiasm there was just really impressive," said Jason Rabinovitch, a Caltech graduate student who co-organized the program with fellow graduate student Nick Parziale. Parziale added that students, who visited JPL for a tour, had to be dragged away from each station during the tour.
By Tiffany Kelly, | April 24, 2013
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's annual open house allows space geeks and budding young scientists a rare peek inside the missions behind the La Cañada Flintridge facility. But the popular event, scheduled for June 8 and 9, has been canceled because of federal spending cuts. It typically attracts crowds of more than 15,000 each day. "Everyone here is just horribly disappointed," said JPL spokeswoman Veronica McGregor. "This is an event we look forward to each year and we know the public really looks forward to attending it. " Blaine Baggett, JPL's director of communications and education, said in an email that canceling the event was a difficult decision.
May 17, 2007
This weekend the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada will open its campus to the public for its annual Open House. This year's theme is "Journey to the Planets and Beyond." Each year JPL invites the public to learn about space and Earth science exploration. Visitors will see unique 3-D images from space including stereoscopic vies of the sun and movies of JPL missions. In addition to learning what JPL engineers and scientists have been doing this year, there will be information on upcoming missions.
By Megan O’Neil | January 7, 2010
Lew Allen, a physicist and four-star Air Force general who served as director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1982 to 1990, died Monday in Potomac Falls, Va. He was 84. Colleagues described Allen as a “giant” in the space program, adding that he was widely respected for his technical and strategic judgment. “He was both intellectually and personally just a gem,” said current JPL director Charles Elachi. “It is a great loss.” Born in 1925 in Miami, Allen attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. and went on to an exceptional career in military aviation and science.
By Mary O’Keefe | May 8, 2008
Close to 30,000 visitors got a up close and personal view of space exploration during Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s annual open house on May 3 and 4. Visitors got a chance to talk to scientists and engineers whose day jobs are to explore the solar system and beyond. Busloads of students from high schools throughout Southern California roamed the JPL campus to learn what their future would hold in space and Earth science exploration. Adults and children listened to the JPL employees tell them of new discoveries and share the thousands upon thousands of photos of Mars, Saturn and the solar system.
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