Once a year, thousands of people from around the country get a chance
to go behind the scenes at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA’s lead
center for robotic space exploration.

JPL’s annual open house, held on Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and May
20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will take visitors on an adventure with this
year’s theme, “JPL 2001: A Space Odyssey.”

This free, fun-filled, family event has a little of everything for
space enthusiasts, from virtual flying lessons to building your own
spacecraft and having your picture taken in infrared light. For non-space
buffs, it offers the chance to see inside a NASA center and discover more
about some of the latest technological advancements. Everyone will have the
chance to meet with scientists and engineers who will staff booths to answer
questions about current and future missions.

Structured around the themes of technology, Earth, Mars, solar
system, and stars and galaxies, visitors will see and learn more about how
missions come together. See for the last time at JPL the full-size Galileo
spacecraft model and learn about active volcanoes on Io, one of Jupiter’s
moons. Watch 15 student-built robots compete, or see an android head and
robotic arm come to life. Learn about the devices scientists use to explore
our planet, from the ground below to the outer reaches of Earth’s
atmosphere. Or follow the water to the Mars Yard — a simulated Martian
surface for test-driving robotic rovers destined for Mars.

JPL is located at 4800 Oak Grove Drive in Pasadena, off the 210
(Foothill) Freeway at the Berkshire Avenue/Oak Grove Drive exit. Parking is
free and available near the Oak Grove main gate and on the eastern boundary
of JPL, accessible from Windsor Avenue via the Arroyo Boulevard exit off the
210 Freeway. Trams will run non-stop between all lots and JPL’s main gate.
Air-conditioned buses with tour guides will move people to and from
different locations around the facility.

JPL will feature a live Webcast on Saturday, May 19 from 11 to noon,
PDT, accessible at www.jpl.nasa.gov/webcast/openhouse . More information,
pictures, maps and directions are available at
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/openhouse/index.html , or call (818) 354-0112.