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Exploring NASA’s quirky places

The Science Life

8:44am, February 21, 2013

View zoomable JPL map

One building houses what has been deemed the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s “best bathroom.” Another, an atomic clock. And naturally the scientists and engineers at the Pasadena, Calif., lab that built the Curiosity rover have a Mars Yard that simulates the surface of the Red Planet, complete with rocks and sand.

Luke Johnson (right), a graphic designer, has illustrated scientists’ day-to-day life at the storied lab, mapping what he calls JPL’s “curiosities.” Best known for its role in crafting and commanding spacecraft such as Curiosity, JPL is also home to decades’ worth of accumulated oddities.

The mapping project started on a whim, a casual challenge to visit every building on campus, in order. JPL’s buildings are numbered according to

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