JPL is one of the world’s great institutions of scientific exploration, research, and discovery. Our unprecedented voyages into space have expanded what we know about neighboring planets, as well as our own. Inquiries into humanity’s biggest questions have helped us see from the farthest reaches of our universe to the tiniest particles of which it is made.


Our travels into space have changed how we see our home planet. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate sponsors JPL’s ongoing programs to measure Earth’s sea level heights, map the sea floor, study surface winds and other climatological phenomena, and monitor the changing chemistry of our upper atmosphere. The information we gather has also been a driving force in other scientific research around the world.

Astrophysics & Space Sciences

In just the few short decades of space exploration, our knowledge of the universe has exploded. Textbooks on astronomy and our understanding of physical sciences here on Earth are being rewritten by what we have found, what we have seen, and the creative response of JPL’s theoreticians who use this knowledge to answer even more questions.

Our innovations in ultra-reliable robotic and human-robotic space exploration would be impossible without Systems Engineering & Formulation. JPL Systems Engineers serve the entirety of the Lab, from formulation of mission concepts through development, testing, and launch. Our model-based engineering drives the next innovations in systems and software that will support complex missions yet to come.


JPL missions have encountered every planet in our solar system, and we are still learning more all the time. Was there ever life elsewhere, or could there be again? Is it feasible for humans to live on Mars? What are our nearest neighbors made of? No one has done more—or will do more—to advance humankind’s growing knowledge than JPL.

"JPL has taken me to places like France (for research), Japan (for a conference), Argentina (to camp in the high Andes and study volcanoes), and Hawaii (to walk around on some lava). It’s a fun job!"

-Laura K., Research Scientist