November 21, 2004

And Also, There Were Donuts

There was a bit of special shindig bright and early yesterday morning on the streets of Pasadena. On January 1st, 2005, JPL will have a float in the Rose Parade for the very first time. And yesterday morning we got to see it road tested--there was a special party for JPL employees. The float's title is "Family of Explorers"; it portrays a giant robot made of bits and pieces of various JPL spacecraft. (If you look closely, you'll see Spirit and Opportunity pretending to be feet.)

I have it on good authority that the object on which the robot is standing is a burst of flame rather than some kind of exotic shellfish.

The float will play music as it rolls down Colorado Boulevard: predictably, it's Rocket Man, by Elton John.

We got to see a number of other undecorated floats as well; the Honda float, which I'm told will lead the parade, is going to be spectacular. I've got some neat pictures, but it seems unfair, somehow, to spoil the least, when it's somebody else's float.

For the record, I'm told that JPL's float was paid for by Caltech, which operates JPL for NASA. Your tax dollars are not at work in these pictures.

Posted by Will Duquette at November 21, 2004 09:05 PM