JPL Field Trip

On June 24, 2013, STEM Students from Los Angeles Mission College had the opportunity to take a free tour through JPL/NASA the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Students learned about the founding of JPL and its latest endeavors. JPL specializes in unmanned projects; those that are designed to be controlled from a distance in contrast to those controlled by a human flight crew. Students learned about the various rover projects. Rovers are space exploration vehicles that are designed to move across the surface of a planet or other celestial body. These vehicles take samples and photographs that are beamed back to JPL for further study. The latest successful rover project was Curiosity which landed on the surface of Mars. It was launched on November 26 2011 and landed successfully on August 6, 2012. Its landing was deemed the seven minutes of terror as NASA engineers waited anxiously for a signal. Mission College students were fascinated and intrigued by JPL and its overall objective to answer the question, “Is there life out there?” The three hour tour took them through the “clean room” where meticulous testing on space vehicles is done. It is called the clean room as it must be free from contaminants. They also visited the mission control room which is busy on two different occasions; during a launching or landing. It was an exciting and interesting day for STEM students.
Gio Magana, a STEM and Electrical Engineering student, remarked, “ I had always wanted to visit JPL and never had the chance too. Thank you Mission College STEM for the opportunity.” Another student, Sofiya Pascual, an Aerospace Engineering major, hopes to obtain an internship with NASA and work there in the future. STEM hopes to make this a yearly event so that many more STEM students have the opportunity to visit JPL/NASA.

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