Traveling and discovering new sites and landmarks are two of the most intriguing things for Wayne Imber. He feels that learning is a lifelong pursuit, and the world presents each one of us many opportunities to learn, grow, advance, as well as improve our lives. Apart from visiting various countries in the world as well as different locations in each county, he also makes the time to explore museums, universities, and science and technology-based facilities, which, for this post, means the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at La Canada Flintridge, California.

What is the Jet Propulsion Laboratory?

In a nutshell, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory or JPL is a NASA field center first established in the mid-1930’s by a few Caltech students who were rocket enthusiasts. In January, 1958, the United States launched Explorer 1, built at JPL as America’s first satellite. In October, 1958, NASA was formed, and it was decided Caltech would manage JPL under contract for NASA. The contract renews every 5 years, and continues to this day.

Every year, JPL welcomes visitors to its facility for an in-depth guided tour to learn and explore NASA projects, among other things. When Wayne Imber friends joined the popular JPL tour, an enjoyable experience was had by all.

JPL’s free public tours include multimedia presentations such as “Journey to the Planets and Beyond,” which provides a general look at the laboratory’s historic accomplishments as well as the various activities that keep them busy day in and day out.

For Wayne Imber, the 3D presentation, exhibition of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and technology, and CAD 3D printing were the highlights of the tour. The CAD 3D printing is an amazing innovation, to which he commented, “Computer Aided Design (CAD) 3D printing was one of the most intriguing displays, exemplifying the virtually unlimited synthetic product capacity that’s now possible, applicable to many different industries, including biotech.”

During his visit, the Mars exploration project was displayed, with new technology vehicles for data collection, Spacecraft Assembly, Space Flight Operations, and communications technologies. Up-close views of asteroid and comet images, and spacecraft parts are provided, including a mockup of a propulsion feed system, and different machining technologies. All of these, he comments, make for a “very worthwhile experience.

JPL Tour Schedules

In the past, the JPL tours have been held on a weekend in May or June. Reservations are required to secure a slot. There have been changes since he visited, with tours scheduled at times in October. To secure a slot, you are encouraged to visit their official website.

There are three tour types to choose from: the Educational Group Tour, the Public Group Tour, and the Visitor Day Tour. For the educational and public group tours, there must be at least 20 people in each group, whereas, for the visitor tour, a minimum of ten persons is required.

Have you been on a JPL tour? How was your experience? Please feel free to share it with us here! You may reach Wayne Imber at your convenience through this site.