Sunday, October 7, 2018

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is the follow-on of Theodore Von Karman's laboratory established in the 1930s at the California Institute of Technology to work on aeronautics and its physics. Several students by this time attempting to work on and launch rockets.

Theodore von Karman, head of Caltech’s Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory, began working on rocket propulsion. Caltech wanted a 10-foot won tunnel, which Dr. von Karman helped design and build.

During World War II, Karman and his Caltech group developed jet assisted takeoff rockets for the US Army Air Corps. Their first rocket firing took place there on October 31, 1936.

In 1947, two years after Germany was defeated, JPL launched the first Corporal rocket. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory would continue under U.S. Army control until December 3, 1958, when it was transferred to the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The United States first entered space with the 1958 launch of the satellite Explorer 1, built and controlled by JPL. From orbit, Explorer 1’s voyage yielded immediate scientific results — the discovery of the Van Allen Radiation Belts — and provided new perspective for studying Earth as a planet.

The JPL is a research and development center manage by the California Institute of Technology for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

JPL’s primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft, though it also conducts earth and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA’s Deep Space Network for communication with spacecraft.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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