The Stuff of Dreams: JPL and the Beginnings of the Space Age
Recently NASA announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft, after some 35 years of operation by JPL, reached the space between the stars—the first time a human-made object has ever gone beyond the breath of our sun's wind. What isn't widely known is that the project almost never got off the ground.
A new JPL-produced documentary, The Stuff of Dreams, describes the challenges mission managers and JPL faced in developing and launching the twin Voyager spacecraft and operating them during the encounters with Jupiter and Saturn. Through first-hand accounts of those who were there, the film shows how the mission and JPL survived times of uncertainty and debate about the future of the U.S. space program and managed to fly the smartest robots of that age on the most ambitious planetary tour ever designed.
Through this storm came the delivery of the first images of volcanoes erupting on another body in our solar system (Jupiter's moon Io), autonomous controls being built into every craft we send out into space today and seeds for the Magellan mission to Venus, rovers on Mars, the Galileo mission to Jupiter, and the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn.
In Beckman Auditorium