JPL Rose Parade float construction

The JPL (and other) parade floats are in progress. Being decorated. So late Wednesday afternoon, Doc M and I reported for float decoration duty at a big building near the Rose Bowl for an evening of applying flowers to the float.

Things I learned:

  1. “Mum” is a verb. Meaning “To apply mums to a surface.” Usage: “I think we’re going to mum those rocket flames.”
  2. Wear very comfortable clothes, clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and blotched with contact (rubber) cement
  3. The second trip up the scaffold is easier than the first.
  4. I respect those people who apply the “dried seeds” or “dried lentils.” —I became such a person.

The JPL/Caltech float is “Family of Explorers” and is a transformer with various spacecraft. For construction, the float is in the “lying down” position. Encircled area at head is where the Float Web Cam will be taking shots of the parade.

transformer head with webcam hole

Don’t know if you can see it from the above pic, but just above/left of head is a spacecraft. It’s Cassini.

Below is a different view of Cassini… in “predeployment” mode, before Huygens (goldish buttony diskoid) probe was released to visit Titan. Probe was released Christmas Eve, is due to arrive around January 14th.


Here’s the NASA “meatball” logo. Meatball logo, made with flowers. As I observed to Doc M when we first looked at all of this, the parts for the spacecraft are not “space qualified” (i.e., parts approved for flight worthiness).

NASA meatball

More images on the following pages: Just keep clickin’ those numbers at right to navigate to the next pages.

6 responses to “JPL Rose Parade float construction”

  1. Hal


  2. Birdie

    Cool pix!!! And Happy New Year, S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Aurorealis

    Rose Parade
    Maybe I’ve neglected to say that I’m writing from Pasadena, California. As you may know, today is our big day with the Tournament of Roses parade and the Rose Bowl game. And why am I here writing instead of…

  4. sophia

    I love it so funny! do you have any more pictures of the float? especially from the scaffolds? I would be really greatful if you emailed them to me.

  5. Susan Kitchens

    sophia, I”ve got another day’s worth of pix, plus a movie. I may post ’em here. But in general, with the amount of pix I take, I don’t email them out to people. Sorry. If you don’t see them posted in the next few days, post here again 🙂

  6. Brian

    Thanks for the photos. I too had a blast working on the rocket man. My photos (as well as others) have been posted at the following url: