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July 30-Aug 1, 8:30-5:00, Ranger 7 Model Exhibit

July 29th, 2014

In celebration of the anniversary of the Ranger 7 encounter with the moon, the JPL Archives will exhibit a 50-year-old 1/6 scale model of the Ranger 7 spacecraft in the Hub, beginning Tuesday at 11:30.  The exhibit will include archival documents, drawings, and photographs that tell the story of the Ranger missions to the moon, and will explain how spacecraft models were used by project staff, media relations, and public services at a time when computer animation didn’t exist.

A side note: A part of the model was missing. However, with photos and drawings from the Archives, staff from OCIO was able to re-create the part with 3D printing technology!

July 29, 11:30-12:30, Summer Movie: Destination Moon

July 24th, 2014

Celebrating the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, we are showing “Destination Moon” on July 29 at the Hub.

Destination Moon

“Destination Moon” is the third in the trio of documentaries about the beginnings of the space age. It documents JPL’s ambitious plan to beat the Soviet Union in robotic space exploration by reaching not only for the moon, but also Earth’s neighboring planets Venus and Mars. But as the hour-long episode documents, JPL would be humbled by a series of failures in attempting to merely hit the moon, let alone visit other planets. “We didn’t know what we were doing,” one veteran JPL engineer confides, “and there was no one around to tell us.” This film shows how JPL did learn to go to the moon and to Venus, bestowing on the United States as a true “First in Space.”

For more information about the movie and other Library and  Archives resources and services, please contact the JPL Library Reference Desk at ext 4-4200,  email, or leave a comment here.





July 22, 11:30-1:00, Summer Movie: The Staff of Dreams

July 17th, 2014

The Stuff of Dreams

In late 2013, JPL’s Voyager 1 spacecraft reached the space between the stars—the first time a human-made object has ever gone beyond the breath of our sun’s wind. What is more is that, this is not the first “first” record that Voyager has made. Since their commencement in 1977, the twin Voyager spacecraft have made numerous “firsts”. However, what isn’t widely known is that the project almost never got off the ground.

Written, produced and directed by Blaine Baggett, JPL’s director for communications and education, “The Stuff of Dreams” describes the challenges mission managers and the lab had to face developing and launching the twin Voyager spacecraft and operating them during the encounters with Jupiter and Saturn. Through first-hand accounts of those who were there, the film shows how the mission and JPL survived times of uncertainty and debate about the future of the U.S. space program and managed to fly the smartest robots of that age on the most ambitious planetary tour ever designed.

July 15, 11:30-1:00, Summer Movie: the Changing Faces of Mars

July 7th, 2014

The JPL Library and Archives is screening a series of videos at the Hub during lunch time this Summer.   Beat the heat, bring your lunch, come to the Hub, enjoy!

On July 15th, we are showing “The Changing Face of Mars”.

The Changing Face of Mars

Of all the planets in our solar system, Mars has always held the most fascination. — This is the story of the first pioneering missions to reach Mars and how each encounter resulted in surprise, dismay or delight for those who first took us there.

Since the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Mariner 4 first visited the Red Planet in 1964, 38 more hopeful explorers around the world have been tasked with investigating Mars and challenging our beliefs about the mysterious planet. Only 15 of these missions have been successful, yet their findings have drastically altered our view of Mars.

This JPL – produced, 90-minute documentary is told through a mix of archival footage and interviews with the scientists and engineers who pioneered Mars exploration. It serves as the fourth installment of Baggett’s Beginnings of the Space Age documentary series chronicling the evolution of space exploration since the first rockets were launched into space.

For more information about the movie and other Library and  Archives resources and services, please contact the JPL Library Reference Desk at ext 4-4200,  email, or leave a comment here.