Holidays at JPL

By Kylie I Casino The holiday season has always been a jolly time at JPL. Starting as early as 1944, we see comical advertisements for the annual GALCIT Christmas Party. This edition of JPL’s first employee periodical, The GALCIT Ear, called for nominations for ‘a bigger and better Santa Claus,’ preferably of those on Lab ‘who bear a marked physical resemblance to the real thing.’ To this day, JPL commemorates the holidays with mementos and spirited cards from the Director….

JPL Blood Drives

By Kylie I Casino JPL has been hosting bi-annual blood drives in conjunction with the Red Cross of America since at least 1951. This image, taken during the drive held 13 April 1955, depicts a JPL nurse drawing blood from a JPL donor. The blood donated during these drives was collected into the ‘JPL Blood Bank,’ from which blood was specifically allocated to JPL staffers and their family members in need. Always, but especially now, donating blood is vital for…

Dear Dawntasmagorias

By Marc Rayman Following a successful mission, Dawn mission operations concluded successfully on Oct. 31. (Please note the understated elegance of that sentence.)After more than 11 years in deep space, after unveiling the two largest uncharted worlds in the inner solar system, after overcoming myriad daunting obstacles, Dawn’s interplanetary adventure came to an end.  > Read more Source: JPL-NASA Blog…

Dear Dawnniversaries

By Marc Rayman Today Dawn is celebrating its 11th anniversary of spaceflight. This is the last dawnniversary the spacecraft will see. The venerable adventurer’s mission will end very soon. Indeed, it could happen at any moment. In the meantime, Dawn is making the most of its remaining lifetime, performing exquisitely detailed measurements of dwarf planet Ceres. It will do so right to the very last moment.In the two Dawn Journals from last month, we described the end of the mission…

Dear Sinceres Readers,

By Marc Rayman People have been gazing in wonder and appreciation at the beauty of the night sky throughout the history of our species. The gleaming jewels in the seemingly infinite black of space ignite passions and stir myriad thoughts and feelings, from the trivial to the profound. Many people have been inspired to learn more, sometimes even devoting their lives to the pursuit of new knowledge. Since Galileo pointed his telescope up four centuries ago and beheld astonishing new…

Dear Dawnouements,

By Marc Rayman A fantastic story of adventure, exploration and discovery is reaching its denouement. In the final phase of its long and productive deep-space mission, Dawn is operating flawlessly in orbit around dwarf planet Ceres. As described in the previous Dawn Journal, every 27 hours the spacecraft swoops as low as about 22 miles (35 kilometers) above the ground, taking stunning pictures and making other unique, valuable measurements with its suite of sophisticated sensors. It then soars up to…