"California As Seen From Space," a collection of breathtaking imagery as seen through the eyes of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory missions and instruments, highlights a free public exhibit commemorating 40 years of planetary exploration, now on display at California's State Capitol in Sacramento. The California images illustrate how space-based imaging is helping to improve life on Earth by creating topographic maps, conducting climate and land surface studies and monitoring dynamic conditions. The images were obtained from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar, and the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer on NASA's Terra spacecraft. The overall exhibit, entitled "Journey to the Planets and Beyond," showcases JPL's work in Earth science, solar system and universe exploration and technology development. Special displays commemorate the 40th anniversary of the August 27, 1962 launch of NASA's Mariner 2 mission to Venus-- the first successful interplanetary spacecraft -- and the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Voyager 1 (September 5, 1977) and Voyager 2 (August 20, 1977) spacecraft to our solar system's outer planets. At a reception for California state legislators and other invited guests at the Capitol this week, JPL Director Dr. Charles Elachi said the accomplishments of Mariner 2, Voyager and other JPL-managed planetary missions laid the groundwork for many of today's missions to study Earth that have benefited Californians. "The tools developed at JPL for these and other spacecraft expeditions to the planets have also proved invaluable in providing new insights and discoveries in studies of Earth, its atmosphere, climate, oceans, geology and the biosphere," he said. "An important part of NASA's mission is to understand and protect our home planet and to improve life on Earth. All Californians share in the economic, scientific and societal benefits of these efforts." Dr. Elachi thanked the legislators for their continued support in helping JPL remain the world leader in solar system exploration and a driving force in Earth science and technology development. "Each of you plays a vital role in fostering a research environment that continues to attract the best talent, ideas and capabilities to our state, keeping our nation at the technological leading edge." The exhibit is open to the public during regular Capitol operating hours through August 19. For more information, call JPL Public Services at (818) 354-0112. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
News Media ContactJPL/Alan Buis (818) 354-0474