Blaine Baggett is director of the Office of Communication and Education at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

During its relatively brief history, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created an impressive legacy of achievement as the world's leading center for the robotic exploration of space, pioneering some of the most important research into the mysteries of the universe.

"The Beginnings of a Legacy: Stories from JPL's Early Years," a free lecture presented by Blaine Baggett, executive manager of JPL's Office of Communications and Education, will describe how it all began. Featuring historic film and pictures, Baggett's illustrated narrative of JPL's early history and its emergence into the space age will be presented on Thursday, May 10 at JPL's von Karman Auditorium, and again on Friday, May 11, at Pasadena City College's Voslow Forum. Both lectures begin at 7 p.m., and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission and parking at both locations are free. The Thursday, May 10 lecture will also be Webcast at 7 p.m. Pacific time.

An award-winning television producer and published author, Baggett was vice president of national productions and scheduling at public television's KCET/Los Angeles before joining JPL in 1999. Baggett's science and technology documentaries for the Public Broadcasting System include "Spaceflight," "The Astronomers," "John Glenn, American Hero" and several "Nova" programs. Among his many historical documentaries is the production of "The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century," which achieved the rare distinction of winning television's coveted triple crown: the Alfred P. DuPont journalism award, the Peabody Award and two national Emmys.

Baggett was one of NASA's national finalists for its Journalist in Space program, which was put on indefinite hold following the Space Shuttle Challenger accidentin 1986. A native of Mississippi, Baggett is a graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa.

JPL is located at 4800 Oak Grove Dr., in Pasadena, off the Oak Grove Drive exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway. Pasadena City College is located at 1570 East Colorado Blvd. More information on the von Karman lecture and Webcast can be obtained at or by calling (818) 354-0112. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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