Ticket Reservations for NASA’s Popular ‘Explore JPL’ Event Begins Saturday; Here’s How to Get One

For one springtime weekend every year, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory offers space enthusiasts of every age a chance to explore its expansive campus nestled below the San Gabriel Mountains in La Cañada Flintridge,

The mission control room at JPL -- the Space Flight Operations Facility - is also referred to as "the center of the universe." It's one of the more popular places for visitors to check out during the "A Ticket to Explore JPL" event. (Credit: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech)

The mission control room at JPL — the Space Flight Operations Facility – is also referred to as “the center of the universe.” It’s one of the more popular places for visitors to check out during the “A Ticket to Explore JPL” event. (Credit: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech)

This year’s “A Ticket to Explore JPL” event won’t be held until the second weekend of June, but anyone who plans to go will need to log on to the website this Saturday morning in order to get in on the action. That’s because free timed tickets will be made available promptly at 9 a.m., according to JPL’s website.

The exciting event gives participants a behind-the-scenes look at NASA’s innovative research and development center, which is managed by Caltech.

Visitors will be offered a chance to tour the campus, including a chance to view one of its two “High Bay” cleanrooms where some spacecraft are built, as well as the opportunity to glimpse the mission control center, also known as “the center of the universe.” (After, participants receive a sticker that reads “I’ve been to the center of the universe.”)

Additionally, visitors will get to see a life-sized model of InSight a month after its scheduled launch to Mars, along with an outdoor exhibit of Mars rovers, JPL’s machine shop, 3-D movies and more.

Tickets for the family-friendly event are free but limited, and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

To get them for a specific slot on either June 9 or June 10, simply go to their website — https://explore.jpl.nasa.gov/ — starting at 9 a.m. this Saturday.

The maximum number of tickets a person can request is five; additionally, the ticket holder’s name must be entered at the time of the reservation and they are not transferable.

Children under the age of 2 do not need a ticket to attend, though as JPL notes on its website, the experiences aren’t for the very young.

Visit JPL’s website for more information.