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NASA Extends JPL Contract

November 27, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

NASA has awarded Caltech a contract worth an estimated $8 billion to operate the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena for five years, it was announced Tuesday.

The new contract extends an existing agreement that expires Sept. 30, 2003. Depending on performance reviews, it could be extended until 2013.

The contract increases funding levels at the laboratory by about $200 million a year.

JPL, founded by Caltech in the 1930s to perform rocket propulsion studies for the Army, was transferred to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1958. The laboratory has always been operated by Caltech.

The only NASA facility not staffed and managed by federal employees, JPL conducts research on the Earth, the sun, the solar system, stars, galaxies and the formation and evolution of the universe. JPL also manages the Mars exploration program.

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