Welcome to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology. There has never been a more exciting time for JPL than now, with exciting missions spread throughout the solar system. I hope you'll use our Web site to chart this time of unprecedented challenge and exploratory adventure. In January, the Spirit and Opportunity rovers landed on opposite sides of Mars on a mission to search for clues of past water on the red planet. The comet-chasing Stardust spacecraft scooped up samples of comet particles and is now en route back to Earth with its unique cargo. And in late June, after nearly seven years of interplanetary space travel, NASA's Cassini spacecraft successfully arrived at Saturn and began a four-year study of the "gem of the solar system." But JPL's exploratory desire reaches far beyond our planetary neighborhood. Ground- and space-based telescopes are peering into the cosmos to learn more about the origins of the universe and search for Earth-like planets. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and Galaxy Evolution Explorer, both managed by JPL, are capturing dazzling images as they study distant galaxies. The backbone of this exploration lies with NASA's Deep Space Network, also managed by JPL. This international network of antennas supports communications between distant spacecraft and the Earth-based teams who manage them. JPL missions also turn a watchful eye on Earth, using spacecraft and instruments aboard NASA satellites to expand knowledge of our home planet. Technologies developed for space often have applications on Earth in medicine, communications, safety and more.
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