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  1/1: 2005 Rose Parade: JPL/Caltech float

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Author Topic:   1/1: 2005 Rose Parade: JPL/Caltech float
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 28434
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-29-2004 08:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA/JPL release
JPL/Caltech Float Set to Launch on Rose Parade Mission

A towering 50-foot robot from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) will thrill throngs of parade-goers lining the streets of Pasadena, Calif., New Year's Day.

Resembling a giant transformer toy, the massive float, entitled "Family of Explorers," honors nine Earth and space exploration missions managed by JPL for NASA. The robot's arms and legs are adorned with models of each mission.

The missions include — the Cassini probe to Saturn; Stardust comet sample return mission; Jason oceanography satellite; Genesis solar wind sample return mission; Galaxy Evolution Explorer ultraviolet space telescope; Spitzer Space Telescope; Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment to measure Earth's gravitational field; and the venerable twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.

The Mars rovers form the robot's "skates" as it rolls down Orange Grove Avenue, Colorado and Sierra Madre Boulevards. The robot will wow the crowds with special effects ranging from smoke from the robot's "rockets" to strobe lights and animation. A remote control Web camera inside the robot's head will provide an unprecedented view of the parade route.

"This has been an extraordinary year for us, a great year of exploration and discovery," said JPL Director Dr. Charles Elachi. "Our intent is to culminate this year and start the next year with another amazing event. We at JPL pride ourselves on being one big family, so what better way to celebrate our recent successes than with this Rose Parade float, highlighting to millions of people around the world our achievements in exploration on behalf of people everywhere," he said.

The JPL and Caltech float is their first for the Tournament of Roses Parade. The float was designed and built by Pasadena-based Phoenix Decorating Company and its award-winning designer, Raul Rodriguez. A joint JPL/Caltech float committee solicited design concepts from the JPL community earlier this year and then worked with the builder to select the final concept. Construction began in June. Caltech is funding the float.

Hundreds of volunteers from JPL, Caltech, their families and friends, and some local high school clubs are decorating the float. It is covered from head to toe with flowers, seeds and other natural materials. Decoration takes place at Rosemont Pavilion, next to the Rose Bowl. Today and tomorrow crews are working from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (PST), and on December 31, as late as needed, to complete the float. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.


Posts: 2113
From: Staffs, UK
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 01-05-2005 04:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is some float.

Pleased they won the trophy for it.


Posts: 35
From: Long Island, New York
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 03-01-2005 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RGW   Click Here to Email RGW     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Tournament of Roses Parade frequently includes floats with an aerospace theme.

The 2005 parade included not only the JPL/Caltech "Family of Explorers" Float described above (which won the Crown City Innovation Trophy — "best use of imagination and innovation to advance the art of float design"), but also the Antelope Valley Float, "Where Family Dreams Take Flight" (which won the Princess' Trophy — "most beautiful entry under 35 feet in length").

The Antelope Valley float depicted three advanced aircraft. Burt Rutan and other SpaceShipOne personnel rode on the float.

collectSPACE readers interested in memorabilia that depicts space in popular culture might be interested in licensed products of these "aerospace" floats available from the Tournament of Roses Association. Cloisonne pins are still available.

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