In the von Kármán Auditorium and the Laboratory’s Visitor Center Museum, you can learn about JPL’s early years, including its involvement in the launch of America’s first satellite, Explorer 1, which led to the formation of NASA. You’ll also find full-scale models of some of our most beloved spacecraft, including Voyager, Galileo and Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity in these spaces.
“Seeing JPL from the inside is a great experience, and we hope this virtual tour creates the same sense of wonder,” said Veronica McGregor, Head of JPL’s Digital News and Media Office. “We plan to expand the trip by more locations later in the year so people can return again and again.”
The virtual lab tour is a collaboration between JPL Digital News and Media Office and the Public Services Office that handles personal tours and other visitor activities. The expertise of the tour staff, honed from heralding thousands of visitors through the lab each year, was invaluable in creating the dozens of points of interest included in each virtual tour stop. Personal trips on the JPL have been suspended since March 2020 due to the pandemic.
A next goal is to create hosted virtual tours for classrooms. “Our staff will now work almost exclusively with schools and teachers to help them navigate this new online tour of the JPL,” said Kim Lievense, head of the Public Services Office. “As with our personal tours, specific points of interest were designed with character-appropriate curricula in mind.”