About the California - JPL DEVELOP Office: DEVELOP first began at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the summer of 2008. DEVELOP JPL has specialized in many application areas since 2008, including but not limited to disasters, oceans, water resources, health & air quality, and ecological forecasting. The specialties of additional science advisors are oceans and hydrology and the location is often uses Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data in its projects.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory History: The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), once an empty flood-plain of Arroyo Seco in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in Pasadena, California, was home to the first rocket experiments built by three graduate students from Caltech in 1936. Encouraged by Caltech professor Theodore von Karman, these "Rocket Boys" led to the building of a site that he would later name The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1943. During WWII, JPL was used to build weapons systems for the United States Air Corps. In 1957, JPL entered the space race and collaborated with the U.S. Army's Ballistic Missile Agency to launch the Explorer 1 satellite - the first satellite to successfully send back data. After this successful launch, JPL was transferred to NASA under the management of Caltech in 1958.