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By Daniel Siegal, | August 18, 2012
A La Cañada Flintridge man and his brother ran into trouble in the Angeles National Forest on Wednesday and spent the night in the mountains before they were airlifted out by Montrose Search and Rescue on Thursday morning. Andre and Rene Laurencot were trying to hike from the Switzer Picnic Area to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Gabrielino Trail on Wednesday when they failed to see a trail closure sign and got stuck, according to Mike Leum, assistant director of the rescue team.
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.
By Bill Kisliuk, | June 14, 2012
The rover being sent to Mars in search of extraterrestrial life has found its parking spot, and like many humans, its getting one as close to its destination as possible. Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge said this week that the rover Curiosity will land at the foot of the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, allowing it to perform its key scientific mission and then wander up the mountain. Scientists have narrowed the potential landing area to be used when Curiosity touches down in August from an area 12 miles by 16 miles to one 4 miles by 12 miles.
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 Daniel Siegal, | May 2, 2012
Singing in a chorus might not be rocket science, but that hasn't stopped Jet Propulsion Laboratory workers from forming their own company of singers. The JPL Chorus will make its debut at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in a free concert with the Pasadena City College Chamber Singers at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena. The NASA research facility in La Cañada Flintridge formed its first choral group in February, the idea born out of a discussion between Stephen Kulczycki, JPL's deputy director of communications and education, and Pasadena Symphony Chief Executive Paul Zdunek.
By Joe Piasecki, | April 28, 2012
Jet Propulsion Laboratory's missions to Mars have gotten a boost from congressional leaders, who this week found up to $100 million more for NASA's planetary science program. The White House's initial proposal for the 2013 NASA budget would have cut planetary science funding by $300 million, scrapping two future Mars missions and threatening hundreds of jobs at JPL. A new version of the NASA budget that passed the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday restores $88 million of the planetary science cuts, said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank)
By Daniel Siegal, | April 18, 2012
Attorneys argued Monday that it was either religious intolerance or workplace incompetence that drove systems administrator David Coppedge from a post at Jet Propulsion Laboratory last year. Monday's arguments capped a five-week trial in Coppedge's lawsuit against the NASA lab in La Cañada Flintridge, in which he claimed he was removed from his job in 2011 because of his advocacy of the theory of intelligent design of the universe. “This is a series of retaliation - a series of subtly damaging injuries all starting from David's reaction” to discriminatory actions taken by supervisors, said William Becker, Coppedge's attorney.
By Daniel Siegal, | April 7, 2012
Closing arguments may take place next week in the case of a former Jet Propulsion Laboratory worker who claims he was fired for his advocacy of the theory of intelligent design of the universe. David Coppedge, a former systems administrator on JPL's Cassini mission to Saturn, is seeking unspecified damages, though an expert witness called on his behalf estimated Coppedge is entitled to about $850,000 in lost and potential wages, according to attorney William Becker. Coppedge also is seeking an unspecified amount for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
By Daniel Siegal, | April 1, 2012
A Jet Propulsion Laboratory manager offered testimony this week that appeared to undermine former JPL worker David Coppedge's claim that he was let go from the rocket science lab because of his belief in the intelligent design of the universe. Coppedge has sued the La Cañada Flintridge lab for wrongful termination. On Thursday, JPL manager Greg Chin laid out the specific complaints that he addressed with Coppedge prior to Coppedge's dismissal in 2011. Chin said Nick Patel, who replaced Coppedge as the informal “team lead” for the information systems support office on NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn, had reported, “There were several sloppy mistakes other [administrators]
By Joe Piasecki, | March 21, 2012
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) provoked a tense exchange with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden during a House budget hearing Wednesday on proposed cuts to Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars program. Schiff grilled Bolden for nearly 17 minutes about NASA's plan to scrap two robotic Mars missions that would employ hundreds at JPL whose job duties otherwise end in August, after touchdown of the Curiosity rover. Bolden touted Curiosity as evidence of NASA's commitment to exploring Mars and said the agency could scale back the Mars program without abandoning its scientific goals, prompting accusations of double talk from Schiff.
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