A host of reporters were recently invited to visit JPL’s cleanroom in Southern California. Reporters got to see an up- close- and- personal look of these critical environments. JPL is known for making all sorts of satellites and other spacecraft that leave Earth, and having a cleanroom is a necessary part of the process.
Technology has advanced quite a bit over the years, and JPL’s cleanroom wasn’t always at the strict level of cleanliness that it is today. Many years ago scientists used to simply wear street clothes and even smoke near spacecraft, but things have greatly changed today. Cleanrooms are needed today to ensure that the expensive and detailed electronics aren’t damaged by particulates.
Cleanrooms also serve a very valuable function in the search for life outside Earth. While scientists are searching for life in other places, if something is found we want to make sure it is unique to that environment– not accidentally transported from Earth. Furthermore, NASA wants to ensure that accidentally life from Earth doesn’t accidentally infect another planet.
Would you like to learn more about this trip to JPL’s cleanroom? You can listen to an audio clip below and visit KCRW for more information and pictures.