2002 is a special year for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and for space enthusiasts worldwide. "This year marks the 40th anniversary of planetary exploration," said Anita Sohus, JPL's museum liaison. "The celebration is widespread and space aficionados now have the opportunity to see exhibits throughout California and the country that feature products from JPL." A full-scale replica of the Saturn-bound Cassini spacecraft is on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The spacecraft is the centerpiece of the newly reopened Air and Space Gallery. Rounding out the display are full-scale models of the Mars Viking lander (1976), Mariner 4 (first U.S. spacecraft to fly by Mars, in 1965) and Explorer 1, America's first spacecraft (1958). The permanent exhibit opened March 9. For more information visit www.casciencectr.org . The Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, Calif., features "Spaceflight: Journey to the Stars" through June 9, 2002. Visitors can see models of the Cassini, Stardust and Mars Odyssey spacecraft. The display also includes a model of a small rover, or nanorover, like one that may someday land on an asteroid or other solar system body. For more information, visit www.chabotspace.org/visit/exhibits.asp . An exhibit at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif., features an ultrasonic drill developed by JPL senior research scientist Dr. Yoseph Bar-Cohen and Cybersonics, Inc. During future space missions, the device could extract samples using lightweight landers with robotic arms and small rovers that roam the surface of an asteroid or planet. With the help of docents, visitors can operate the drill at the "Curiosity Counter." For more information visit www.thetech.org/ . "Footsteps Through Time," an exhibit at San Diego's Museum of Man, displays videos of JPL technology innovations with applications to health care, the environment, communications, education, transportation and computer technology. They include infrared cameras that can be used to detect breast cancer, as well as inflatable membranes that form large spaceborne telescopes. For more information visit www.museumofman.org . Many space-themed exhibits are geared toward children. At Kidspace, an interactive children's museum in Pasadena, Calif., children can view a model of a Ranger spacecraft. The Ranger missions in the 1960s provided high-quality pictures of the moon. These images were used for scientific study and selection of landing sites for the manned Apollo missions. Children and adults visiting Disneyland, in Anaheim, Calif., can experience space exploration at an exhibit in Tomorrowland, featuring a model of the Sojourner rover that landed on Mars in 1997, as well as Explorer 1 and Pioneer 4 spacecraft models. Space enthusiasts in many other parts of the country can see JPL products in museums and displays. * In Washington, D.C., the National Air and Space Museum has full-scale models of JPL spacecraft, including Voyager and Explorer 1. * At the National Mall in Washington, D.C. visitors can roam a scale model of the solar system, developed by the Challenger Center, the National Air and Space Museum and NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.. For more information visit: www.challenger.org/ . * Also in Washington, D.C., JPL images from Mars Global Surveyor data and Shuttle Radar Topography data are on display at National Geographic's Explorer's Hall in the building's large display windows that face the street. * A full-scale replica of Cassini is on loan to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. * Both the Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, and the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, display full-scale models of the Viking (Mars) lander. * The American Museum of Natural History in New York City has added models of the Stardust and Space Interferometry Mission spacecraft to the space gallery. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
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