The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, was founded by scientists and engineers from the nearby California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1940 as a test site for their early rocket experiments, which were getting too dangerous (and noisy) to remain on the campus. World War II and the subsequent Cold War funneled defense funds to the site, where work turned to producing practical jet engines for military uses in the 1940s and 1950s. When the Soviets launched their Sputnik ...

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