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JPL Open House Takes Visitors to the Planets

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will hold an open house on Sat. and Sun., May 15 and 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., taking visitors on a virtual ride through the solar system with this year's theme, "The Spirit of Exploration."

This fun-filled, family event has a little of everything for space enthusiasts and non-space buffs. You can explore the planets as you walk through a model of the solar system, build your own spacecraft, and have your picture taken in infrared light. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet with scientists and engineers, who will staff booths to answer questions about current and future missions.

Structured around the themes of technology, Earth, Mars, our solar system and the universe, visitors will see and learn more about how missions come together. Watch student-built robots compete and see your friends fly in space. Learn about the devices scientists use to explore our planet, from the ground below to the outer reaches of Earth's atmosphere. Or follow the water to Mars through a tour of the laboratory designed for test-driving robotic vehicles destined for Mars. Kids will get the chance to be rolled over by a rover. Learn how we communicate with the spacecraft currently exploring the solar system. See the world's lightest solid. Watch "Ring World," a multimedia presentation on the Cassini mission to Saturn, shown in planetariums around the globe.

Admission is free. No backpacks or ice chests are allowed, with the exception of small purses and diaper bags. Visitors, vehicles and personal belongings are subject to inspection. JPL is located at 4800 Oak Grove Drive in Pasadena, off the 210 (Foothill) Freeway at the Berkshire Avenue/Oak Grove Drive exit. Parking is available near the Oak Grove main gate and on the eastern boundary of JPL, accessible from Windsor Avenue via the Arroyo Boulevard exit off the 210 Freeway. Air-conditioned buses will run non-stop between all lots and JPL's main gate. Buses and tour guides will move people between different locations around the facility. Walking is required to some locations.

More information is available at or call (818) 354-0112. Directions are available at

The California Institute of Technology, also in Pasadena, manages JPL for NASA.

© CONTACTO Magazine
Published on April 29, 2004

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