MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: Enrico Piazza
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMay 4, 1999
JPL INVITES THE WORLD TO ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE
Once again, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will open its
doors to the public during its annual open house, a free event
scheduled for Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6, from 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. on both days.
Visitors will be treated to exhibits, demonstrations and
presentations about past and future space missions, while a host
of hand-on activities will be offered to children. Many of the
Laboratory's scientists and engineers will be on hand to answer
questions on topics such as planetary imaging, space robotics and
communication with distant spacecraft.
"We're proud of what we do for the American public and the
scientific community, and the JPL open house is a great
opportunity to showcase our accomplishments, challenges and
discoveries," said JPL Director Dr. Edward C. Stone. "In the past
few months, we've sent space missions to Mars, one to a comet and
another one into space to test out new technologies for the
future. This is an exciting time for space exploration and we
look forward to sharing our work with visitors at the open
Always a popular event, the 1998 open house edition drew
about 52,000 people in two days to the 177-acre facility. This
year the Laboratory is renting 12 theme park-style trams, each
capable of boarding 70 people.
Children visiting the Laboratory will have the opportunity
to see themselves fly in space, learn about "black holes" -- the
densest objects in the universe -- and design their own planet
and their own "sciencecraft." The Telescopes in Education Project
will teach students and educators how to operate an automated
research-quality telescope and advanced camera system from a
computer in their classroom.
A replica of the Sojourner rover that landed on Mars in 1997
and prototypes of rovers under development at the Laboratory will
cruise the new Mars Yard, recently remodeled to better imitate
the Martian landscape. Also on site will be full-scale models of
the spacecraft currently circling or on their way to the red
planet, including the Mars Polar Lander, scheduled to reach the
Martian South Pole on December 3, 1999.
Other highlights include:
- The Low Temperature Laboratory and the 25-foot Space
Simulator, the places where spacecraft are thoroughly tested in
the extreme conditions they will find in outer space.
- The Space Flight Operations Facility, the electronic
mailroom that collects and routes all communications between
spacecraft and the JPL-operated Deep Space Network, made up of
antenna stations in Spain, Australia and California's Mojave
- The Spacecraft Fabrication Facility, where technical
drawings are turned into components. Inside this building,
visitors will see the Bengal Waterjet Machine in action, a device
capable of cutting steel with water.
- The Spacecraft Assembly Facility, the Laboratory's
largest clean room where spacecraft are built, including Galileo,
now orbiting Jupiter and its moons, and Cassini, which is on its
way to Saturn.
Food and beverages will be available, along with space
souvenirs and NASA and JPL merchandise. JPL's Stamp Club and
Flying Club will staff booths for collectors and aviation fans.
Potential employees will be able to submit their resumes and take
home a list of openings at the Laboratory.
JPL is at 4800 Oak Grove Drive in Pasadena, off the 210
(Foothill) Freeway at the Berkshire Avenue/Oak Grove Drive exit.
A larger parking lot is located on the East side of the
Laboratory, accessible from Windsor Avenue from the Arroyo
Boulevard exit off the 210 Freeway. Trams will run non-stop
between all lots and the Laboratory's main gate.
For further information, visit the JPL Open House web site
at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/openhouse, or call (818) 354-0112.
JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology,