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La Canada and JPL Information

JPL or Jet Propulsion Laboratory is located in La Canada. JPL has played an important part in American Space Exploration. JPL was responsible for Voyager I and Voyager II, two manless ships that explored our solar system and beyond. Pictures from the Voyager crafts have helped NASA learn a great deal about our solar system.

JPL Book Reviews

High Velocity Leadership : The Mars Pathfinder Approach to Faster, Better, Cheaper by Brian K. Muirhead, William L. Simon, Price Pritchett (Preface)
Book review by Amazon.com reprinted with permission
Most of us think of the Mars Pathfinder mission as a triumph of technological wizardry. But Brian Muirhead, the engineer who spearheaded the project, sees it as something else: a triumph of managerial efficiency. The previous Mars mission had cost $3 billion. Muirhead, who was originally hired by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in part because of his real-world experience repairing Harley-Davidson motorcycles, had to do it for $150 million--less, he notes, than it cost James Cameron to film Titanic. The mantra at JPL was "Faster, better, cheaper." In an era of government belt-tightening, NASA had to prove to America that it could manage more spectacular space missions with less money, and in less time, too. High Velocity Leadership shows how Muirhead and his team proved not only that "Faster, better, cheaper" can work but that's it an excellent way to get things done. He and coauthor Simon walk readers through the project from conception to triumphant completion, giving each chapter a didactic spin. For example, in one chapter he talks about how a manager must be both the "glue" that keeps a team together and the "grease" that keeps it moving forward. But while Muirhead has learned a few textbook lessons about management--he quotes several gurus in that field--he has learned also from the school of hard knocks. Thus, every management principle described in High Velocity Leadership includes theory, real-life examples from the Mars Pathfinder mission, and a life lesson or two. --Lou Schuler
Journey Beyond Selene: Remarkable Expeditions Past Our Moon and to the Ends of the Solar System by Jeffrey Kluger
Book review by Amazon.com reprinted with permission
Earth's moon, called Selene by the Greeks, is a gray, lifeless place, interesting geologically but perhaps a little disappointing to those of us looking for strange, colorful new worlds. But our moon is only one of more than 60 planetary satellites in the solar system, most of which are entirely unexplored. In Journey Beyond Selene, Jeffrey Kluger chronicles these unsung places and the heroes who explore them: the Jet Propulsion Lab's staff of dedicated adventurers, who build and fly sleek, unmanned spacecraft to investigate other moons. "When astronauts finally did reach the moon," Kluger writes, "the lean, fleet ships of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory had already gone elsewhere." Why explore the satellites of other planets when the planets themselves remain mysterious? Kluger describes astronomers' first realization that in contrast to the lifeless gas giant Jupiter, its moons were a veritable scientific playground: There were big moons and small moons, patterned moons and plain moons, brightly colored moons and pasty-pale moons.... There were moons that could have atmospheres, water, and even, perhaps, a spark of internal heat. Put them together, and you had moons that could, in theory, harbor life. Journey Beyond Selene chronicles the history of a little-understood aspect of humanity's quest to discover new worlds. From the early Ranger orbiters through the incredible journeys of Voyager and Galileo, Kluger gives credit where credit is long overdue. They may not be astronauts, but these space jockeys have the right stuff. --Therese Littleton

La Canada Photos

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Hiking with dogs

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Stream above La Canada

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Stream Far Away

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