The success of JPL’s first spacecraft, the Explorer I satellite, in 1958 helped lift America into the Space Age. Our spacecraft have flown to every planet in the solar system, the Sun, and into interstellar space in a quest to better understand the origins of the universe, and of life. Our missions honor the relentless pursuit of the seeker: Voyager, Curiosity, Cassini, Galileo.
It was a camera on Voyager 1 that captured the pale blue dot of Earth from 3.7 billion miles away and corrective optics engineered by JPL that brought the Hubble Space Telescope into focus. JPL helped build and manages one of the four cameras aboard the James Webb Space Telescope. In fact, the image sensors used in modern digital cameras, including your smartphone’s, were developed at JPL, too.
Closer to home, JPL spacecraft, science instruments, and airborne missions help humanity study and track climate change, manage natural resources, and respond to disasters. And the giant dish antennas of NASA’s Deep Space Network – built and managed by JPL – send and receive data from nearly all spacecraft traveling beyond the Moon.
What’s next? We’re working on missions to investigate the surface and interior of Venus and to study the ocean deep below the icy crust of Jupiter’s moon Europa. JPL is taking part in missions to map Earth’s surface and to chart minute movements of the planet’s ice and land-covered surfaces. Together with the European Space Agency, we plan to bring Martian rock samples back to Earth in the search for past signs of microscopic life on Mars, and those efforts will also help NASA prepare to send humans to Mars.
From Earth to the solar system to the limits of our universe, we drive to the forefront of scientific discovery; we benefit humanity through our missions, innovations, and research, inviting people everywhere to imagine what is possible.
Managed by Caltech, JPL is NASA’s only federally-funded research and development center.
The Additive Manufacturing Center (AMC) is the research laboratory and production facility for additive manufacturing at JPL. It provides services in metal and polymer additive manufacturing (AM) for the Lab using Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), Direct Energy Deposition (DED), and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technologies. The AMC focuses on early stage research and prototyping aimed at infusing new technologies for various missions and projects, and manufacturing space flight hardware and mechanical ground support equipment (MGSE) for NASA/JPL missions. It is one of the premier facilities in the country for work in the development of multifunctional graded materials (AKA gradient alloys), multifunctional structures for extreme environments, two-phase heat exchangers, 3D printed compliant mechanisms, lattice structures, topology optimization, and Design for Additive Manufacturing (DFAM). Research in the center focuses on developing new alloys, optimizing process parameters of metal 3D printers, and evaluating and collaborating with suppliers that provide additive manufacturing services.
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