A couple of Saturdays ago Bruce took us and another Aveson family on a mini-tour of JPL. It was supposed to be the weekend of the ever-popular annual JPL open house, but the event had been canceled and the other family had a very disappointed space-crazy nephew who was coming into town for his birthday specifically to go to JPL. Bruce saved the day for them and we got to tag a long for the tour. It’s always fun to go to the lab. We started in the museum. Here are Bruce and Finn checking out the infrared display.
We checked out the models of the spacecraft and then watched the newest version of their movie about the history of JPL. It was great — I wish I could share it but it’s only available at the museum for now.
Here are some other pictures from around the lab. Full scale model of Curiosity.
Waiting outside the spaceflight operations room (which we ended up not being able to enter — the only disappointment of the day).
Wildlife on lab.
Mars Yard exploration.
My favorite sign — Rover Crossing.
The newest ATHLETE rover. (This is in a tent near the Mars Yard. Ezra was very worried about us going in to see it because he thought we weren’t supposed to be in there.)
Our last stop was the observation deck of the clean room.
They’re building something that Bruce worked on (the cylinder thing on the left side) which is going to the Space Station to do optical communication. It’s called the OPALS project and is set to fly in September. Very exciting!
The kids and adults really enjoyed the tour. I overheard several times, “This place is so much cooler than my job!”