The JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for NASA. The laboratory's primary function is the construction and operation of planetary robotic spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA's Deep Space Network.
Among the laboratory's current major active projects are the Mars Science Laboratory mission (which includes the Curiosity rover), the Cassini–Huygens mission orbiting Saturn, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Dawn mission to the dwarf planet Ceres and asteroid Vesta, the Juno spacecraft en route to Jupiter, the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. They are also responsible for managing the JPL Small-Body Database, and provides physical data and lists of publications for all known small Solar System bodies.
The JPL's Space Flight Operations Facility and Twenty-Five-Foot Space Simulator are designated National Historic Landmarks.
Published in Geophysical Research Letters
The ocean in Jupiter’s moon Europa may have redox balance similar to Earth’s. On Earth, low-temperature hydration of crustal olivine produces sub- stantial hydrogen, comparable to any potential flux from volcanic activity. Here, we compare hydrogen and oxygen production rates of the Earth sys- tem with fluxes to Europa’s ocean. Even without vol...