Be Our Guest: JPL Invites Public to Open House

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory invites the public to its annual Open House on Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event, themed "The Excitement in Explorations," invites visitors to share in the wonders of space through high-definition and 3-D videos, live demonstrations, interactions with scientists and engineers, and a first look at JPL's new Earth Science Center.

The Earth Science Center showcases our home planet and JPL's Earth science missions. Visitors will pass by two touchscreens located on opposite walls of the facility that control real-time views of "Eyes on the Earth," an interactive 3-D visualization website. Visitors will also have the opportunity to watch a movie in the 3-D theater, which seats up to 40 people.

Other Open House highlights include:

- A chance to see the most unique car in this world before it leaves Earth: The next rover bound for Mars, Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity, in the "clean room" before it is shipped to Florida for a November 2011 launch. Curiosity also stars in its own "reality TV show" via live-streaming webcam: .
- Life-size rover models in a "Mars" test bed.
- A perennial crowd-pleaser, the Robo-Dome, where a pair of 700-pound robots glide in a high-tech arena under artificial stars. The Robo-Dome is used to simulate complex maneuvers that could be used for future space missions.
- JPL's Microdevices Lab, where engineers and scientists use tiny technology to revolutionize space exploration.
- Solar-safe telescopes that allow visitors to see the sun.

Selected locations at Open House will be featured live online, with a live chat available, on Ustream TV at: on Sat., May 14, from 9 a.m. to noon PDT (noon to 3 p.m. EDT).

JPL is located at 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, Calif., 91109. Admission to Open House is free. Parking is also free, but is limited. To get to JPL, take the Berkshire Avenue/Oak Grove Drive exit from the 210 Freeway in La Canada/Flintridge. All visitors should wear comfortable shoes -- no buses will be provided from JPL parking lots. JPL will provide vans for mobility-challenged guests.

Vehicles entering NASA/JPL property are subject to inspection. Visitors cannot bring these items to NASA/JPL: weapons, explosives, incendiary devices, dangerous instruments, alcohol, illegal drugs, pets, all types of skates including skateboards, Segways and bicycles. No bags, backpacks or ice chests are allowed, except small purses and diaper bags.

More information about JPL is online at: . Follow us via social media, including Facebook and Twitter . A full list, with links, is at: .

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