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Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Annual Report 2003If you stepped outdoors on the final evening of 2003 and looked up into the night sky, many celestial events were taking place. A hundred million miles away from Earth, a dust storm swirled across the terracotta peaks and gullies of Mars, as two six-wheeled robots bore down on the planet. They were soon to join two orbital sentries already stationed there. A few hops across the inner solar system, another spacecraft was closing in on a ball of ice and rock spewing forth a hailstorm of dust grains, heated as it swung in toward the Sun. Closer in, two newly lofted space telescopes scanned the skies, their mirrors gathering photons that had crossed the empty vastness of space for billions of years, recording ancient events in unimaginably distant galaxies. And streaking overhead every few minutes directly above our home planet, a handful of satellites was recording the unfolding events of a tropical cyclone off the east coast of Africa and a blizzard that carpeted the northwestern United States. As 2003 drew to a close, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was on the cusp of an extraordinarily busy period, a time when JPL will execute more fly-bys, landings, sample returns and other milestones than at any other time in its history. The exploration we undertake is important for its own sake. And it serves other purposes, none more important than inspiring the next generation of explorers. If the United States wishes to retain its status as a world leader, it must maintain the technological edge of its workforce. What we do here is the stuff of dreams that will inspire a new generation to continue the American legacy of exploration.
Document ID
20110011592
Document Type
Other
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 2004
Subject Category
Astronautics (General)
Report/Patent Number
NASA-JPL-400-1156
PB2011-103961
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Keywords
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)