JPL Open House

Today, Jesse and I went to the JPL Open House. The last time I went to an open house at JPL was when I was in high school. My uncle picked me up, and we spent the day together. I remember being in awe of the science and technology that was on display. My uncle is also really good at asking interesting questions, so I learned a lot.

Jesse and I tried to arrive early this morning, but there was already a line over a block long by the time we got there. Luckily once they opened the gates, the line flowed smoothly, even with the security checks.

We were given a map with more than twenty locations listed, and what was going on at each. Lines formed pretty quickly for some of the more popular exhibits like the Mars rovers. We watched a video on the Cassini-Huygens mission, saw some cool new technology (nothing really that new, just new to space), took a quick tour through the operations building, and the assembly building. There were also some cool FIRST robots, models and displays, and lots of very smart people talking passionately about their work.

After about four hours, the crowds were getting very thick. There was a line to see just about everything, and the weather was getting pretty hot. We decided that we’d had enough for the day, and to leave for lunch. By the time we got into the car, the thermometer was up to 97°F.

The Open House was well worth the heat and crowds. It’s going on tomorrow, and will probably be happening next year too. If you’ve never been, be sure to keep a spot open in your calendar.

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