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By Mary O’Keefe | July 16, 2009
The mission of the spacecraft Ulysses, which studied the far-flung polar regions of the sun, has come to an end after 18 years of exploration far outlasting its original life expectancy. The spacecraft was a joint mission between Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA and European Space Agency. Throughout its long mission it entered unexplored regions of the solar system, gathering information about the sun and its environment. ?We lasted almost four times longer than planned and a year longer than we thought we would,?
NEWS
By Mary O'Keefe | May 3, 2007
Last Thursday the children of Jet Propulsion Laboratory employees had the opportunity to explore crafts and the solar system as well as learn what Mom and Dad really do all day while they are at school. JPLers and their children participated in Take Your Child To Work Day. For at least 15 years the Lab has set aside one day a year for employees' children to visit the campus and explore their parents' chosen career. Kids from 9 to 17 spent the day making crafts, getting temporary tattoos and making their own miniature rockets.
NEWS
By Michael J. Arvizu | March 25, 2010
Cassini/Hyugens project scientist Dr. Linda J. Spilker at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory grins when she talks about the discoveries made by the Hyugens probe as it nears its sixth year on the surface of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. “It’s just totally amazing,” said Spilker, referring to the probe’s early exploration of Titan. “Here are some of these pictures coming back, and they’re showing what looks like we’re landing in, perhaps, a streambed or something.
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.
FEATURES
By Mary O'Keefe | March 15, 2007
What could be better than a play dealing with the science of the solar system? A science play with kazoos. That musical instrument was just part of the charm of the play, "Star Search" performed by La Cañada Elementary school's third grade classes, on Wednesday, March 7. "The Sun goes on vacation because he is feeling burned out," said performer Kyle Ghaby. "The other planets try to find the Sun." With lines like, "Jupiter has a point" the play took the audience through the solar system, and introduced them to all the planets.
FEATURES
February 9, 2006
When La Cañada resident Elizabeth Jones scheduled her third graders' field trip to Jet Propulsion Laboratory last year, she had no idea that the date would coincide with the launching of NASA's "New Horizons" mission to the planet Pluto. "It was miraculous," Jones said. "I scheduled this field trip in September. Not only were we at JPL at the same time the launch was taking place, our tour group just happened to be in the observation area of the JPL Mission Control Room at the exact time of the launch.
NEWS
By Charles Cooper | November 17, 2005
The Dawn mission, part of NASA's Discovery Program, is not canceled, but its future is somewhat in doubt after an order from NASA to stand down, or halt work on the mission. Senior NASA official Colleen Hartman said Dawn, housed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, was ordered to stand down for two main reasons. "We had concerns about scientific issues and about cost containment," Hartman said. She confirmed that the mission, with an original cost figure of $373 million, was about 11 percent over budget when the stop order came.
NEWS
By Mary O'Keefe | August 4, 2005
Scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech are continuing this week to review data related to the recent discovery of the tenth known planet in our solar system. Astronomers announced in a press conference held at JPL July 29 that a planet larger than Pluto has been discovered in one of the most distant regions of our solar system. JPL scientists will begin observing the new planet through the Spitzer telescope soon, according to a lab spokesperson. Caltech planetary scientist Mike Brown announced the planet's discovery, the tenth in our solar system.
NEWS
By Mary O'Keefe | April 13, 2006
The Spitzer Space Telescope has uncovered new evidence that the birth of a planet may be from the death of a star. "The disk of dust orbiting a star, similar to the dust we feel formed our solar system," Michael Werner, project scientist of Spitzer Space Telescope project, said. The infrared telescope observed the scene around a star that was dying. The pulsar is the remnant of an exploded star which emits pulses of radiation. Within this pulsar they found a surrounding disk made up of debris shot out during the stars explosive death.
FEATURES
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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By Carol Cormaci, carol.cormaci@latimes.com | February 13, 2013
Robert Haw, a JPL systems engineer who has worked on exploration missions spanning the solar system from Mercury to Pluto, was the featured speaker at the Feb. 6 meeting of Kiwanis Club of La Cañada. Using slides to illustrate his talk, Haw, the founder of the Climate Change Symposium at JPL, gave an overview of environmental changes over the past century and the role that man's use of coal has played in those changes. In other news, members of the club and the Key Club it sponsors at La Cañada High gathered Sunday in front of Ralphs market to sell peanuts in support of the Eliminate Project, a Kiwanis International program run in collaboration with UNICEF to eradicate maternal and neonatal tetanus.
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NEWS
By Joe Puglia | August 4, 2012
Recently I saw my buddy, Rob Manning, running through Starbucks. He seemed hurried. Rob is chief engineer for JPL's Mars Science Laboratory mission and, since they are expecting to land the rover Curiosity Sunday night, I'm sure he had a lot on his mind. I had a million questions for him. Considering his plight, I initially thought better of asking for a briefing on the status of Curiosity, hurtling through the solar system faster than you can say “Sweet Lucy Wine.” But, what the heck?
NEWS
By Sara Cardine, Special to the Valley Sun | June 28, 2011
On July 16, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, is expected to reach the orbit of an asteroid protoplanet that scientists hope may hold clues about the formation of the planets and the evolution of the solar system. Vesta became forever relegated to asteroid status when its slow journey to becoming a planet was thwarted by the explosive force of Jupiter’s creation. Since then, the 329-mile-diameter body has remained trapped among other cosmic remnants of an asteroid belt that stretches from Mars to Jupiter.
NEWS
By Michael J. Arvizu | March 25, 2010
Cassini/Hyugens project scientist Dr. Linda J. Spilker at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory grins when she talks about the discoveries made by the Hyugens probe as it nears its sixth year on the surface of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. “It’s just totally amazing,” said Spilker, referring to the probe’s early exploration of Titan. “Here are some of these pictures coming back, and they’re showing what looks like we’re landing in, perhaps, a streambed or something.
NEWS
By Mary O’Keefe | July 16, 2009
The mission of the spacecraft Ulysses, which studied the far-flung polar regions of the sun, has come to an end after 18 years of exploration far outlasting its original life expectancy. The spacecraft was a joint mission between Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA and European Space Agency. Throughout its long mission it entered unexplored regions of the solar system, gathering information about the sun and its environment. ?We lasted almost four times longer than planned and a year longer than we thought we would,?
NEWS
By Mary O’Keefe | May 7, 2009
More than 30,000 visitors got a chance over the weekend to talk to scientists and engineers about past, present and future discoveries in space and Earth exploration at Jet Propulsion Laboratory?s Annual Open House. The event has become a tradition for some families and for others it was their first time at the lab. Four-year-old Mico Lessis from Valencia came prepared for the day of space studies dressed in his orange NASA spacesuit. He was excited about being at JPL, although his mother had to explain to him that he would not be traveling into space, only learning about it. When asked if he was ready to learn he replied, ?
NEWS
By Mary O’Keefe | April 30, 2009
Get ready to visit other planets, travel outside our solar system and even learn more about what is happening here on Earth. It is time again for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Annual Open House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 2 and 3. Every year the lab is opened to public, allowing a look into what is happening in the area of space and Earth exploration. Kids can have a Mars rover roll over them and see robots that are designed to walk the surface of other planets. Visitors will be able to talk to scientists and engineers that work on mission to Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Earth?
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
By Mary O’Keefe | June 19, 2008
After 17 years, four times its expected mission lifetime, the Ulysses spacecraft is only a few weeks away from ending its exploration of the sun. According to Ed Smith, Ulysses project scientist at JPL, the main objective of the spacecraft was to study “from every angle, the heliosphere, which is the vast bubble in space carved out by the solar wind.” He credits Ulysses with redefining the knowledge of the heliosphere and “our solar neighborhood.” The spacecraft has flown over the sun’s poles three times.
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