Bracing for “significant impacts” to funding for public outreach programs next year, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory decided to cancel its hugely popular open house in June. The cost savings? Roughly $400,000 for the two-day event.
The figure is a comparatively slim sum for an agency that deals with budgets into the billions, but comes as NASA faces pressure to cut costs where it can amid the across-the-board federal spending reductions known as sequestration.
It was that downward pressure that JPL cited when it announced last week that the open house scheduled for June 8 and 9 would be canceled to save money. At the time, the cost to put on the event was not available.
But on Monday, JPL spokeswoman Veronica McGregor said the budget to put on the open house -- which attracts close to 40,000 people each year -- is roughly $400,000, including for security, portable toilets, presentations and other items brought to the La Cañada Flintridge campus.