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Cosmic Musings Lecture - Caltech and the Origin or Rocketry in Southern California


Come celebrate the 60th anniversary of Explorer 1! Griffith Observatory's Explorer 1 replica in the Wilder Hall of the Eye will be available for guests to visit before and after the presentation!

The California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is often known as a center of planetary exploration by the United States, but it was originally founded to develop rocket technology in the late 1930s. Far less well known is the reality that Caltech had a second rocket project operated by its Physics Department during World War II. That effort ultimately spun off what is now the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Center. It was the Physics Department project that developed the shore bombardment rockets used by the U.S. Navy during the Pacific War, and the U.S. Navy’s first air-launched rockets. In this talk Erik Conway, JPL Historian, will tell the story of these two rocket projects, and suggest why they took such very different paths.

Location: Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater, Griffith Observatory

Audience: General public, Science experts

Format: Lecture, Question and Answer session

RSVP: Required

Cost: FOTO Members: $10 / Non-Members: $25