The Keck Institute for Space Studies was created at Caltech to develop revolutionary concepts and technology for future space missions by taking advantage of opportunities for increased collaboration between researchers on campus and at JPL.
In 1964, Caltech astronomy professor Guido Münch and Jet Propulsion Laboratory space scientists Lewis Kaplan and Hyron Spinrad pushed the world's second-largest telescope to its limits and dashed—at least for the next few decades—any hopes of finding liquid water on Mars.
Using gravity measurements collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, scientists have confirmed that Saturn's moon Enceladus harbors a large subsurface ocean near its south pole, fueling plumes first seen in 2005.
If you ask Andy Ingersoll how Caltech has contributed to our understanding of the universe, he'll tell you, "Caltech invented planetary science!" Since the field's origins 50 years ago, Caltech has become one of the top planetary-science research centers.
Bruce Churchill Murray, Caltech Professor of Planetary Science, Emeritus, and former head of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), succumbed to complications of Alzheimer's disease on August 29, 2013. He was 81.