JPL Open House, Part 3.

The last day of the JPL open house pictures, and some information for citizen scientists that want to find their own planets.


We saw this line for a movie and thought…what the heck, so after a brief stay in line we entered JPL’s Earth Science Center.


As we were waiting for the theater to open, a JPL scientist showed us the interactive NASA mission program that you can download from  They also have the current solar system missions as well.


Earths gravity shown in the extreme from data collected by the GRAIL spacecraft.  I bet you didn’t know that the gravity on Earth changed so much.  I certainly didn’t.


A view of heat distribution and how it affects climate change.  I also didn’t know that about 1/3 of the NASA/JPL budget goes toward Earth mission science.  Their motto is “Earth, your future our mission.”  It is very reassuring that someone is interested in looking out for our planet.


Yeah! the movie was in 3D!  Here we learned that the SMAP spacecraft was in the final assembly area ready to leave for Vandenburg to be prepped for launch.  And we could still see it.


Down the hill and following the breadcrumbs we went to look at the spacecraft.


The front of the building.  We didn’t go in here, this was just taken while waiting in the really, really long line.  It did move very fast, however, and it was in the shade, so it wasn’t bad at all.


Major props to the person that works in the Space Craft Assembly Facility with the TARDIS on their monitor.  Whovians everywhere support you.


A poster diagram of the SMAP spacecraft.



The SMAP spacecraft with a mannequin helper for scale.  The craft is large even when folded up.


A scale model of SMAP deployed.  The large antenna on top will be rotating four times per minute once the craft is in orbit.  Makes me dizzy just thinking about it.


Crowds of people enjoying a break from all this science!  A soda and a pretzel gave me the strength to go on…


…towards the exit.  After five hours, I had to go to other activities.  But you can be sure that I’ll be back as long as they keep having this event.

Tomorrow is the wrap-up of my JPL open house adventure…and a new mission for me to hunt for my own planet.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +