Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Our Day at NASA JPL with our US mates...

Hi All,

Yesterday we went and caught up with friend of ours, Jill and Bill. Jill and I worked in the same domain at NASA a few years back. Jill still does work for them and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Here are some pics of the things we saw:

BELOW: The entrance to the JPL at La Canada (foothills near Los Angeles):

BELOW: While we were there we got some dehydrated astronaut food, this one was Ice Cream. Tastes pretty good too:

BELOW: A rock sample from the surface of the moon:

BELOW: This record has been sent up in a space craft in case other intelligent life gets it and plays it. It has music, images and other stuff on it (suppose they need a record player :-) :

BELOW: A pic of the MERs. This facility built and tested the Rovers:

BELOW: Rover test bed or "Sand Box":

BELOW: The uplink and downlink IT system for JPL:

BELOW: the lid of the Mars Science Lab Rover:

BELOW: The real thing...MSL Rover under construction and in testing:

BELOW: In the observation room of the MSL Rover Assembly Facility:

BELOW: More MSL Rover components:

BELOW: This is the entry to the big dark Control Room:

BELOW: Inside the Space Flight Operations Facility. Here the staff monitor all equipment that is out in space at the moment. There are several things out there now in deep space.

BELOW: More of the Space Flight Operations Facility (Control Room):

BELOW: The life size model of the Mars Science Lab Rover:

BELOW: We all had to have pre-approval to enter the facility, all organised by my friend, Jill (thanks Jill & Bill for a great day):

- The Mars Science Lab Rover is about the size of a small SUV. This Rover will be the largest ever sent to Mars. See the full size model above.
- It will be searching for Martian habitats looking for microbial life. It will travel farther, last longer, and go to places on Mars that have been unreachable so far.
- For future missions, it will demonstrate an ability to land a very heavy rover on a more precise target.
- The launch is scheduled for US Autumn (Fall) 2011.
- The landing on Mars is expected to be in US Summer 2012.
- The expected mission length is planned to last for several years.

Thanks for looking at our blog...
John, Tarin, Kalinda, Kevan, Josh & Tom.


  1. Hi John, Tarin, Kalinda, Kevan, Josh & Tom. Great photos and report from your NASA JPL visit. Very interesting. PeteJ, Canberra.

  2. Yes thank you
    Aunt Julie