MSL Mission Animation

The Mars Science Laboratory will launch late this year, sometime around the end of November, or early December. It’s the largest rover that JPL has ever sent to Mars, and also the most expensive. Just about everyone I know at JPL has worked on some aspect of MSL at one point or another, myself included.

The sequence of events for Entry, Descent and Landing is incredibly complex, as you can see in the latest animation video that JPL put out.

One Year Later

A year ago, Pasadena and the surrounding communities were layered in smoke and ashes as the huge Station Fire burned acres upon acres.

Fire above JPL

The Station Fire in the hills behind the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Photo by Bill Westphal.

One year ago, this is what the hills above my workplace looked like.

Even though I lived through it, it’s still hard to believe such a monster fire was so close.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory open house May 15-16

I just noticed on the altadenablog a notice about JPL’s upcoming Open House.

The 2010 JPL Open House will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 15 and 16, 2010, 9am-5pm both days.

This popular event celebrates JPL’s accomplishments with exhibits and demonstrations about the Laboratory’s ongoing research and space exploration. Many of the Lab’s scientists and engineers are on hand to answer questions about how spacecraft are sent to other planets, how scientists utilize space technologies to explore Earth and how researchers are searching for planets beyond the solar system.

The Open House is a fun and educational experience for children too, with special hands-on activities designed for kids. Admission and parking is free.

View From My Office

With all the rain last week, the mountains above Pasadena show a lot of snow on their peaks. The view from my office window overlooks JPL’s new Flight Projects Center.

Snow Above JPL