JPL's Open House is a free event and open to the public. Models and robots are on display, and scientists and engineers are on hand for questions.


Title: One weekend a year, NASA's JPL opens its doors to space exploration enthusiasts of all ages...

Title: For two days...

...more than 200 scientists and engineers...
...present live demonstrations...
...of today's most exciting space missions.

Title: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology presents
The Open House Series

Title: Why

Title: At JPL, we strive to be a symbol of hope for what human beings are capable of imagining and bringing to reality.

Title: What happens when creative and scientific people come together with a common mission and make it happen?

Title: Why did you become a scientist?

Tracy Drain, Flight Engineer, Kepler I have always been interested in space since I was a little kid. The first time I found out about how the solar system was formed I was kind of astonished to know that people can figure that out even though it happened so long ago.

Tony Freeman, Program Manager, Earth Science Research and Advanced Concepts I read a lot of science fiction when I was a kid; I think I always wanted to be a scientist as a result.

Michelle Thaller, Astrophysicist/Outreach Scientists, Spitzer Space Telescope I saw Star Wars when I was seven years old there was no turning back. The imagination of science inspired by science fiction, what else could I do with my life?

Nagin Cox, JPL Systems Engineer I got interested in Star Trek for a little while and it just dawned upon me that I didn't have to focus on science fiction, there was science fact.

Title: Why did you come here today?

I wanted my son to be able to experience what JPL was all about.

It is a wonderful place to come and expose your children to science and how science is applied and why are they studying math.

I really like space and astronomy and stuff like that.

We wanted to see the new technology and space stuff and robots.

Title: What did you learn?

We learned about the technology that we are using today with the Mars rover and the Cassini and things like that.

It was really cool that the scientist would talk to us about how it works and I would actually understand it.

It really gives you an idea about how everything is going to go on in the solar system and planets.

I learned how robots are made and everything.

Title: How do you get kids interested in science?

David Crisp, Principal Investigator, Orbiting Carbon Observatory Sometimes the easiest way to get kids excited about science is to show excitement with science. can see light out of the infrared...

Jo Pitesky, PlanetQuest Scientists and Cassini Science Planner I think to be interested in science you just have to be interested in the world. Being interested in science doesn't mean that you are good at math necessarily. Being interested in science means you are good at asking questions.

When I see the younger kids of today reminds me of myself being a child learning about the solar system and the level of excitement that I had and I really love being a part of telling them about it and watching them for the first time become excited about the solar system and what we know about space.

Rich Zurek, JPL's Chief Scientists for Mars Exploration Every kid is an explorer, as they grow they learn, they are exploring their world.

I was thinking about being maybe a rocket engineer.

I want to be a scientist when I grow up.

Title: What's the coolest thing you saw here today?

I think the robots are really cool.

The RoboDome, that was a lot of fun.

I like the camera one where you put ice on your hand and it turns black.

It's amazing! They have all these robots, all of this other stuff about the solar system, it's an amazing place.

What's the most beautiful planet of all?
...Saturn and Earth

Title: Why is this important?

We see things that people dreamed about years ago and have now become reality.

Jim Fanson, Project Manager, Kepler
It allows us to understand fundamental questions about how we fit into the cosmos, where we came from, where we are headed.

We are just finding planets around other stars; I think we are going to find life hopefully in the next 10 years maybe on Mars maybe on a moon of Jupiter.

Jim Erickson, Project Manager, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Looking at other planets helps you understand your own planet.

The idea that you can go out and you have a whole planet to explore or you can find new planets. I think that it self is very compelling to youngsters today just as it was 40 years ago when I was thinking about these things as a youngster.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology

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