Montage of our solar system
Montage of our solar system

Two free programs in Pasadena next week will include dramatic pictures from the robotic exploration of space -- from the earliest black-and-white close-ups of craters on the Moon to the greatest color panorama of a landscape on Mars.

Blaine Baggett, executive manager of communication and education for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will present "Journey to the Planets and Beyond," on Thursday evening, Aug. 22, at JPL, and Friday evening, Aug. 23, at Pasadena City College.

The event is part of JPL's monthly public lecture series and marks the 40th anniversary of Mariner 2, the world's first spacecraft to successfully fly by another planet. That JPL-run mission was launched Aug. 27, 1962 and flew by Venus 13 weeks later. Since then, dozens of JPL missions have embarked on NASA's quest to explore the universe and search for life.

Baggett will explain how an emphasis on getting good pictures, along with good science, has evolved with the space program. He'll introduce a new 30-minute movie tracing the exploration of the solar system by missions managed by JPL for NASA.

Before joining JPL in 1999, Baggett produced award-winning documentaries for public television about such topics as astronomers, espionage and earthquakes.

Both of his lectures will begin at 7 p.m. Seating is first-come, first-served. JPL is at 4800 Oak Grove Dr., off the Oak Grove Drive exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway. The Thursday lecture will be in JPL's von Karman Auditorium. The Friday lecture will be in Pasadena City College's Vosloh Forum, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd.

The Thursday lecture will be webcast live and will be available afterwards at For more information, call (818) 354-0112. JPL is a NASA center and a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

News Media Contact

JPL/Mary Hardin (818) 354-0344