MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Contact: Gia Scafidi (818) 354-0850

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMay 5, 2000

OPEN HOUSE HIGHLIGHTS JPL's DIVERSE RESEARCH AND SPACE EXPLORATION

       The public will have an opportunity to learn about the latest solar system research and space exploration when NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory hosts its annual Open House on Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

       This year's free event, "JPL in the 21st Century," will shed light on current celestial discoveries, ongoing space missions and new space technology. People of all ages can check out a variety of demonstrations, exhibits, presentations and laboratory facilities. Hands-on and other interactive activities will also be available for children.

       Life-size models of the spacecraft used to explore Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune will be on display, and visitors can learn how images are brought back from space. JPL's 25-foot Space Simulator, used to produce spacelike conditions of extreme temperatures, vacuum and intense solar radiation will also be available for viewing.

       Through specialized telescopes, visitors will be able to safely observe the Sun, and will also have an opportunity to learn how small changes in the air, land and water influence their everyday lives.

       The Mars Yard, a replica of Martian terrain, will feature the rovers in development for exploring the red planet. One rover, known as Urbie, will show off its ability to avoid obstacles by using stereo vision.

       Other planned activities will feature the strange world of cryogenic phenomena, where the curious can see balloons shrink and magnets levitate; the universe, where one can learn about black holes, pulsars and the destiny of our own solar system; and the Deep Space Operations Center -- the telecommunications hub for spacecraft exploring the solar system

       Last year, approximately 55,000 people attended the JPL Open House. Food and beverages will be available, along with space souvenirs.

       JPL is located at 4800 Oak Grove Dr. in Pasadena, off the 210 (Foothill) Freeway at the Oak Grove/Berkshire exit. For additional information, log onto the JPL Open House website at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/openhouse or call the Public Services Office at (818) 354-0112.
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NOTE TO EDITORS: A photograph to accompany this press release is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/openhouse . 5-5-00
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