On October 18th, NASA’s Ames Research Center held an open house to celebrate it’s 75th year. Unlike JPL, they don’t do open houses every year; I think the last one was almost 20 years ago (but don’t quote me on that). At any rate, Bruce got last minute tickets from someone at work so we decided to brave the crowds. Perhaps it wasn’t our smartest decision.
We skirted most of the traffic by driving to Google and riding our bikes from there — a nice jaunt down Stevens Creek Trail. I really can’t express just how many people there were, and the hordes were coming via all modes of transportation. Cars were being redirected back onto the freeway (after sitting in a long line of traffic) because there was no place to park. The bikes gave us quite an advantage, but clearly we weren’t alone — check out a tiny portion of the bike parking.
After a long wait in line — during which I felt the need to set straight a myopic couple behind us spouting misinformation about JPL — we made it inside to find even more people. I was reminded that this is why I never went to the JPL open house.
Anyway, we did see some interesting things, most notably the wind tunnels. This one is so giant I had to do a panoramic photo to get it all in.
We saw this one, too, and talked to one of the engineers about some of the logistics.
They also had a Mars yard type of place and a rover, but the yard wasn’t as good as JPL’s. I swear, this outing turned me into a total JPL snob.
I think the boys were really more interested in this giant pumpkin we saw once we rode back to Google.
This day definitely falls into the category of things I’m happy to have done … and happy to be done with!