Saturday, July 12, 2014

Los Angeles

My family made a three day trip to Los Angeles last weekend and visited the Le Brea Tar Pits on Sunday, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Monday and the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and Science Center on Tuesday.

La Brea is amazing.

JPL is out of this world. We took a 2-1/2 hour tour and made several stops including the assembly clean room where a bunch of engineers and technicians were working on the Soil Moisture Active Passive Satellite: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/soil-moisture-active-passive-smap/

We stopped at the flight control room observation deck and could see the big displays showing communication and command of twelve deep space probes including Voyager 1 (launched in 1977) that they signal and receive a signal from every two days. It takes three days for the signals to make the round trip and they showed us Voyager’s position in interstellar space with a realistic view of the solar system from Voyagers current location. Made me feel very small…

The Natural History Museum is awesome and the big diorama halls are the same architectural style as the old California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco so if you need a nostalgia fix you should go. The displays are in excellent condition: http://www.nhm.org/site/explore-exhibits/permanent-exhibits/north-american-mammals

And


And then, as if that wasn’t enough, we saw the space shuttle Endeavor at its temporary home at the Science Center. We walked and stood under Endeavor!: 






We are slowly working our way through visiting Los Angeles visitor attractions.

Voyager

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams
 Engineers and technicians were working on the Soil Moisture Active Passive Satellite.

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams
Space Shuttle Endeavour - Everyone knew they were walking into the building that temporarily houses Endeavour but still when we rounded the corner and first realized how close we were standing underneath the world's most complex machine, that had been in earth orbit and returned many times, everyone stopped in their tracks and starred for a moment. It was truly awe inspiring and a little overwhelming. 
Copyright 2014 Scott Williams
The world's most advanced rocket motors are looking a little steampunk.
Copyright 2014 Scott Williams

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams
Copyright 2014 Scott Williams

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams

Copyright 2014 Scott Williams