Launch Points: The Ultimate JPL Walkabout

As JPL has grown and has continued to expand its role in space exploration, the number of buildings on its 177-acre site has increased in tandem. All of the facilities are assigned a number according to the order in which they were built. Buildings 1 through 10 no longer exist, so Building 11, constructed in 1943, is the oldest on JPL’s campus. Building 349, the Arroyo Parking Structure, is the newest.

In 2012, JPL graphic designer Luke Johnson decided to go on a tour of the buildings in numerical order. The walk that he thought he might complete in an afternoon ended up taking him on a 52.2-mile hike over four days. After his walkabout, he collaborated with a team of designers to create a map that is handed out to all new JPL hires. [Click here to download a PDF of the map].

It includes highlights about what can be found in various buildings on campus. For example, the atomic clock housed in Building 298 is one of the world’s most stable clocks.

Click here for more of JPL’s origin story…


Photo: JPL/NASA/Caltech