Exploring the Wonders of Space: A Visit to JPL with OC Astronomers


APRIL, 2024


Jet Propulsion Laboratory


OC Astronomers

Orange County Astronomers

Mars Perserverance

Europa Clipper

Witnessing History: A Journey into the Heart of Space Exploration at JPL

Are you ready for an out-of-this-world adventure? Join us as we recount our unforgettable trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, with the esteemed Orange County Astronomers group (OC Astronomers). From mesmerizing spacecraft mockups to the nerve-wracking Mission Control Center, our day at JPL was nothing short of extraordinary.

Unveiling the Marvels of Spacecraft at JPL’s Von Karman Auditorium

Step into the Von Karman auditorium, where the magic of space exploration comes to life. Here, we marveled at the intricate mockups of iconic spacecraft like Cassini, Voyager, and Galileo. Through captivating videos and informative presentations, we delved into the history and significance of each mission, gaining a deeper appreciation for humanity’s quest to explore the cosmos.


The Golden Record aboard the Voyager spacecrafts

The Golden Record aboard the Voyager spacecrafts

Behind the Scenes: Exploring High Bay 1 and the Europa Clipper Mission

Prepare to be awe-struck as we journey behind the scenes to High Bay 1, the nerve center of JPL’s spacecraft assembly and testing. Here, we witnessed the Europa Clipper mission in its final stages of preparation, marveling at the ingenuity and precision required to build and test spacecraft destined for the depths of space. With Florida’s launch pad in sight, the anticipation for the next chapter of space exploration was palpable.

Meeting Martian Royalty: A Close Encounter with the Mars Perseverance Rover

Get up close and personal with a true space celebrity: the Mars Perseverance Rover. Standing tall in a life-size mockup, this cutting-edge rover represents the pinnacle of Martian exploration. From its state-of-the-art instruments to its groundbreaking mission objectives, we were privileged to witness firsthand the incredible technology driving humanity’s exploration of the Red Planet.

Although I’ve visited JPL several previous times, I remain awestruck at the Wonders of the Heavens it has unlocked for us.

Cassini mockup in the Von Karman auditorium of JPL
Mission Control room at JPL, where the "Seven Minutes of Terror" for the Curiosity lander happened.
High Bay I facility where the Europa Clipper spacecraft is nearing travel to Florida for launch
Mars Perserverance Rover mockup
Sandy Eulitt posing at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Sandy Eulitt posing at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory April 2024

Journey to the Heart of Space Operations: Inside JPL’s Mission Control Center

Step into the nerve center of space operations as we explore JPL’s Mission Control Center. This iconic facility gained worldwide fame during the heart-pounding “Seven Minutes of Terror” landing sequence for the Mars Curiosity rover in 2012. From monitoring spacecraft trajectories to coordinating complex missions, the dedicated team at Mission Control plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of space exploration.

Embark on Your Own Cosmic Adventure with OC Astronomers

Ready to embark on your own cosmic adventure? Join the Orange County Astronomers group for unforgettable experiences like our visit to JPL. From awe-inspiring spacecraft mockups to behind-the-scenes glimpses of mission preparation, each outing promises new discoveries and lifelong memories. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the wonders of the universe with fellow space enthusiasts. Join OC Astronomers today and let your curiosity reach new heights!

Little Green Men Alien life like water bottle with straw
Little Green Man Alien Water Bottle
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Space Suit Astronaut Water Bottle
Starry Nights Galaxy Stars Constellations Travel Mug
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