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April 23, 2013
Bracing for “significant impacts” to funding for public outreach programs next year, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory decided to cancel its hugely popular open house in June. The cost savings? Roughly $400,000 for the two-day event. The figure is a comparatively slim sum for an agency that deals with budgets into the billions, but comes as NASA faces pressure to cut costs where it can amid the across-the-board federal spending reductions known as sequestration. It was that downward pressure that JPL cited when it announced last week that the open house scheduled for June 8 and 9 would be canceled to save money.
January 26, 2006
The City of Pasadena and Caltech, as the contractor that manages NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory finalized an agreement this week to provide NASA funding of a major new water treatment plant in Pasadena. "This agreement is a win-win situation for everyone," said Steve Slaten, NASA's Remedial Project Manager at JPL. Volatile organic compounds and perchlorate that originated from waste disposal practices on the JPL site many decades ago have been found in the groundwater beneath JPL. When detected levels of perchlorate in the nearby Pasadena wells rose above California's action level for perchlorate, the city closed them, and they have remained closed since.
August 8, 2012
Ten Years Ago After sitting vacant for several years, the former bank building at the northwest corner of Foothill Boulevard and Oakwood Avenue reopened with a new look and four new tenants, including a frame store. It was rumored that the women's clothing chain, Chico's, would also move into the building. Twenty Years Ago Employees at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were cheering after the successful Aug. 10, 1992, launch of the French-U.S. TOPEX-Poseidon satellite, which would study circulation in the world's oceans and their effect on climatic conditions for more than three years.
June 23, 2005
Congressman David Dreier (R-San Dimas), chairman of the House Rules Committee, voted this week to approve a comprehensive bill funding JPL, which includes $1.4 billion for its programs, including $119 million for the JPL-managed Space Interferometry Mission, a $10 million increase over the president's request. Dreier expressed his support for the JPL programs and their contributions to the community. "[Congress] is offering strong support to JPL and their many important programs," he said.
By Daniel Siegal and Jason Wells | March 14, 2012
Former Jet Propulsion Laboratory worker David Coppedge testified Wednesday that questions about the origin of life ran deep in his family long before he worked for JPL or sued the La Cañada Flintridge lab for allegedly discriminating against him because of his belief in the theory of intelligent design. A former systems administrator on NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn, Coppedge claims he was improperly demoted and eventually fired for sharing DVDs about intelligent design - the idea that the universe is a creation of an intelligent agent, such as God - with co-workers.
By Mary O’Keefe | March 6, 2008
A third well at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on-site groundwater treatment system has been completed, part of an ongoing groundwater clean-up project. Since 2005, the on-site groundwater treatment system has been removing perchlorate ? which has been traced to thyroid gland disorders ? and volatile organic compounds from groundwater that was contaminated over 50 years ago through fuel used in rockets during the time JPL was working with the U.S. military. JPL stopped the military work in the late 1950s but the damage to the groundwater had already been done.
By Mary O’Keefe | October 11, 2007
Jet Propulsion Laboratory employees who object to “invasive” background checks are holding their collective breath for a ruling expected Friday that will either extend an injunction or require them to comply with the ordered checks. The JPL engineers and scientists have been on a legal roller coaster since Oct. 3 when a federal judge denied their request to block the checks. It was then reviewed Oct. 5 by three judges who sit on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and a temporary injunction was granted.
By Charles Cooper | September 22, 2005
Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge is facing some likely budget reductions in the coming year as NASA reorganizes its priorities to support a mission to return to the moon and the development of a replacement for the space shuttle. The local research facility, approaching its 50th anniversary as a pioneering part of the U.S. space program, is expected to weather the upcoming round of cuts with little impact on the ongoing work at the site. Dr. Charles Elachi, lab director, said in a letter to employees that JPL could face a reduction of up to 8 percent, or as much as $12 million.
February 1, 2007
Scientists from JPL in La Cañada and the University of Colorado have used a spaceborne detective to track the origin and movement of water vapor throughout Earth's atmosphere. NASA's newest detective in the mysteries of atmospheric water vapor is the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer instrument on the Aura satellite. The scientists used the instrument's observations of heavy and light water vapor to retrace the "history" of water over oceans and continents, from ice and liquid to vapor and backagain.
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