Slice of History - Shocked by Voltage
35 years ago, JPL gained a cultural mascot: our very own Voltage the Raccoon! Voltage became famous amongst Lab because of her late-night escapade around the grounds that resulted in a shocking electrocution on 30 August 1988.
Noted by Dick House as an “unauthorized interloper” to the contrasting grounds of high-tech JPL amongst its very natural surroundings, Voltage was a six-month-old, fifteen pound visitor that found her way onto a high-voltage line of the Lab’s main power station - her zap was so significant it even knocked out power to the Lab for about ninety minutes! Electrical maintenance staff discovered Voltage with all four feet and muzzle seriously burned, and she was whisked away to the nearby San Fernando Wildlife Waystation where she was cared for, and eventually returned to the mountains, but far enough away to avoid another “electrifying encounter.”
Voltage’s survival and safe return to the mountains caused a media frenzy, and she remains a hopeful highlight of JPL’s electric past and present. CL#22-6248
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