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By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com | December 13, 2010
Two hundred and sixty middle- and high-school students flocked to JPL's campus Friday to compete in the 13th annual Invention Challenge. A total of 34 teams (19 student and 15 JPL teams) were challenged to create devices that would lift a ping-pong ball and hold it against a ceiling two meters (about 6.6 feet) above the ground. Sixteen local schools, including Crescenta Valley, Monrovia, South Pasadena and Temple City High Schools, competed, but the Magnolia Science Academy in Carson came out on top, fulfilling the objective in .20 of a second.
FEATURES
March 22, 2007
Palm Crest recently held its annual Science Exploration Week Feb. 26 to March 2 and its Science Fair on Feb. 28. Two student assemblies and an evening science fair were organized by PTA chairs Sima Lisman and Leslie Miller. On Feb. 26, David Zobel, a Caltech graduate and a science writer who frequently contributes to the KPCC radio show "The Loh Down on Science" presented "What's it's Like to Be a Science Writer?" The Palm Crest Science Fair took place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 in the cafeteria.
NEWS
By Mary O’Keefe | November 20, 2008
Last week NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced that the Hubble Space Telescope the first visible-light picture of a planet outside our solar system. Karl Stapelfeldt, one of the co-authors for the Hubble Telescope Planet Detection program at JPL/Caltech and a La Crescenta resident, said that the detection of planets such as the one photographed is very difficult. “Everyone would like to see an image but it is very hard to see,” Stapelfeldt said. “The planet is very faint and very bright.
NEWS
September 7, 2007
A hearing is scheduled to be held Sept. 24 for a lawsuit brought by 27 scientists and one engineer from Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Goddard Space Flight Center against NASA/JPL who object to a new background check requirement, saying it is an invasion of privacy. “These scientists [and the engineer] work in non-sensitive, unclassified areas,” said attorney Dan Stormer, a partner at Hadsell and Stormer who represents the plaintiffs. A Bush administration directive requires new background checks for all government employees.
NEWS
By Mary O’Keefe | June 12, 2008
After a few days of vibrating clumpy Martian soil in an attempt to get a sample into the Phoenix lander’s Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA), the material is finally in the oven. The Phoenix is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada and scientists there cheered this week when they heard the sample, after an unexpected delay, had been successfully collected. The TEGA is an instrument that will study substances converted to gases by heating soil samples that are delivered by the robotic arm. Scientists knew that if all went according to plan, the arm would scoop up Martian soil and drop it onto a screen that covers one of the eight ovens on Phoenix.
NEWS
By Mary O'Keefe | October 12, 2006
Before the sun rises at JPL it is not uncommon to see a family of deer roam through the campus. The scene is tranquil, like that on Walden's Pond, and yet inside the buildings, historical events are taking place. On Oct. 3, scientists and engineers of the Mar Reconnaissance Orbiter entered an area in a JPL office titled the Purple Pigeon Coop before 5 a.m. in anticipation of the first test of the satellites capability to "roll" in order to take pictures of the surface of Mars. The coop, really an area with desks and many computers, was titled that back in the 1980s by a JPL manager who wanted to find clever names for their missions, ones that would capture the imagination, said Peter Xaypraseuth, JPL systems engineer on MRO. In fact, the room is full of little signs like that indicate these engineers and scientists have fun with their jobs.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 31, 2008
The New York Times released a story in 2006 about Josephine Tesauro ? a 92-year-old twin who still drove, played bridge, and lived on her own near Pittsburgh, Penn. As part of a study on aging, papers and magazines around the world picked up her story. I followed it and after seeing a video of her online, was inspired by her unforgettable spirit. I became an instant fan. Now, two years later, I didn?t want to write another story about her without knowing what had happened to her. I had to find her. After some real detective work I found myself on the phone with a now 94-year-old sweet lady who just last week entertained friends at her place with bridge playing and lunch and still has a giggle in her laugh.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Sara Cardine | January 16, 2014
Rebekah Sosland remembers the first time she saw the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity touch down on the Martian surface 10 years ago . She was 14, in the eighth grade in Fredericksburg, Texas, and watching the momentous event unfold on television as classmates around her chatted and passed notes. "I saw this big bouncing popcorn thing on this red surface, and a voice said we now had two rovers on Mars," Sosland recalls. "I thought, 'Oh my gosh, we have a rover on another planet?
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NEWS
August 5, 2013
On the first anniversary of NASA's rover Curiosity's touchdown in Gale Crater, Mars Science Laboratory lead scientist John Grotzinger says the team has a lot to be thankful for - and much more to look forward to. The Caltech geologist spoke with The Times about the risks the team took, the groundbreaking findings early in the mission and what they plan to do when they finally reach their goal: Mt. Sharp, the mountain in the middle of Gale Crater....
NEWS
By Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com and By Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com | May 13, 2013
Scientists and engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory were unfairly disciplined for sending emails about a U.S. Supreme Court decision involving background checks at the agency, a judge has ruled. The ruling comes after the JPL employees challenged being disciplined for using their work email accounts to disseminate information to colleagues about the 2007 Supreme Court decision upholding federal background checks for scientists. JPL administrators said using work email accounts for such purposes violated employee policy.
NEWS
By Daniel Siegal and Bill Kisliuk | September 22, 2012
Friday marked the end of an era at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, as dozens of scientists, engineers and others gathered to catch one last glimpse of the Endeavour, the shuttle that carried many of their experiments and projects into space. More than 100 JPL employees and a handful of guests congregated in the sun-soaked parking lot on the research facility's Cardiac Hill, lining the edge of the lot with camping chairs and improvised shade providers. Hundreds of people lined Oak Grove Drive just outside the campus to watch Endeavour - and NASA's shuttle program - head for a final landing.
NEWS
November 15, 2011
The forecast of a dry winter is doing little to lower the blood pressure of Foothill residents whose homes remain vulnerable to mudslides brought about by the devastating 2009 Station fire. Caused by cooler than normal sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, La Niña typically causes a colder and drier winter in the Southland. Typically. Though last season also had La Niña conditions, the rain came down fast and hard, albeit not consistently, said William Patzert, an oceanographer and climate forecaster at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
NEWS
By Stephanie Ghiya | July 20, 2011
Scientists and engineers packed the auditorium at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge Tuesday to hear the international science team for the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit recount the hard-won achievements of the little rover that could. Initially intended as a three-month mission, Spirit continued gathering and transmitting scientific data from the Red Planet for six years before going silent in March 2010. In May of this year, hope for the rover's return to service was abandoned.
NEWS
By Sara Cardine | May 11, 2011
This weekend NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory grounds will transform into a wonderland of information and exhibits at this year’s Open House, which will give the public an up-close look at the facility’s many space science projects and missions. The free event, held Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature a host of new exhibits and hands-on features, led by engineers and scientists who will discuss current projects related to this year’s theme, “The Excitement in Explorations.” Open House is a JPL tradition that spans decades, though the event has grown over the years as new technologies in exploration and in imaging and visualization have progressed.
NEWS
By Sara Cardine | February 16, 2011
On Valentine’s Day night, JPL employees forfeited any plans for romance in order to taste the fruits of a single celestial encounter. At a little before 9 p.m. Monday, NASA’s Stardust-NExT shuttle came within 125 miles of Tempel 1, a comet scientists have been tracking for years. The meeting, cheekily billed by NASA as “A Date with a Comet,” was more than five years, and hundreds of research hours, in the making. This “date” brings with it a scientific first — until now, no comet has ever been visited more than once.
NEWS
By Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com | January 5, 2011
Despite the effects of a harsh Martian winter, JPL engineers are hoping to revive the Mars rover Spirit after losing contact with it on March 22. Spirit became stuck 18 months ago in loose soil south of the planet's equator. Unable to shift its solar panels to adapt to changing sunlight conditions, the rover entered a low-power mode that was intended to preserve vital functions but that prevented communication with Earth. But now JPL has been sending signals into space to try to link up with Spirit as sunlight increases with the dawn of Martian spring.
NEWS
By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com | December 13, 2010
Two hundred and sixty middle- and high-school students flocked to JPL's campus Friday to compete in the 13th annual Invention Challenge. A total of 34 teams (19 student and 15 JPL teams) were challenged to create devices that would lift a ping-pong ball and hold it against a ceiling two meters (about 6.6 feet) above the ground. Sixteen local schools, including Crescenta Valley, Monrovia, South Pasadena and Temple City High Schools, competed, but the Magnolia Science Academy in Carson came out on top, fulfilling the objective in .20 of a second.
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