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JPL and the Space Age: The Hunt for Space Rocks

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Asteroids and comets are among the oldest objects in our solar system. They mostly reside at safe distances from Earth, but some find their way into our planetary backyard.

Every day, the Earth receives visitors from outer space: tons of space debris that mostly goes unnoticed. Some of these “shooting stars,” however, do survive the fiery descent through the atmosphere. That’s what happened to the dinosaurs 65 million years ago when a massive asteroid – or comet – struck Earth. But as the saying goes: "The dinosaurs didn't have a space agency. Fortunately, we do."

“The Hunt for Space Rocks” chronicles JPLs pioneering work to understand asteroids and comets as part of NASA’s larger effort to protect our planet from cosmic marauders. From JPL’s effort to mount a mission to study the most famous comet of all – Halley’s comet – to the lab’s current role in planetary defense with its Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). The documentary drives home a clear message: We need to find the asteroids and comets before they find us.

Documentary length: 1 hour 52 minutes



This is the 16th episode in the documentary series “JPL and the Space Age,” which uses rare archival footage and interviews to help tell the story of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s trailblazing role in space exploration.

Watch all episodes of the “JPL and the Space Age” series:
* JPL’s Website – https://go.nasa.gov/30U6gTa
* JPL’s YouTube Channel –    • JPL and the Space Age  

posted by stagistal8