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July 19, 12:00-1:00, Summer Movie: The Footsteps of Voyager

July 10th, 2017

The Footsteps of Voyager

The introduction of the Space Shuttles in the 1980s began a new era in America’s space program. At the same time, the legendary Voyager 2 was in the midst of its triumphant Grand Tour of the giant outer planets. Drawing on rare film footage and the memories of the engineers and scientists who were there, this 60-minute film brings alive the dramatic experiences of these first-ever encounters at Uranus and Neptune. As scientist Car Sagan declares in the film, those who designed, built and operate Voyager are “heroes of human accomplishment. Their deeds will be remembered in the history book.” And in this remarkable documentary.



July 12, 12:00-1:30, Summer Movie: The Stuff of Dreams

July 10th, 2017

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.

June 28, 12:00-1:00, Summer Movie: Destination Moon

May 25th, 2017

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.





June 21, 12:00-1:00, "Explorer One" Movie at the Hub

May 22nd, 2017

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 June 21st, we are showing “Explorer One”, a part of the “Beginning of the Space Age” series.

Explorer One

This document reveals how JPL and the U.S. Army could have been the first to place a satellite into Earth orbit, had they been given the chance. That opportunity was lost when the Eisenhower administration, unsure how the Soviet Union would react to a satellite launched under the aegis of the U. S. Army military, hesitated and assigned the project to a civilian-led program called Vanguard.  The Soviet launched Sputnik in October 1957, shocking the world and setting in motion the Cold War’s “Race for Space.” Only after the Vanguard rocked exploded on the launch p[ad were JPL and the U.S. Army given a chance. The result was 1958′s Explorer 1, the first successful U.S. satellite, which also delivered the first-ever scientific discovery from space.

Contact the JPL Library Reference Desk at, ext 4-4200 for resources and services from the Library, Archives, and Records Section.