Latest Guides

OLD top box right

Caltech, UCLA Students to Stage “Planetary Bake Sale”

Planned for June 9 at La Cañada High School

Published on Thursday, June 7, 2012 | 5:05 am

What are you going to do with that extraterrestrial recipe you’ve got? You know, the one Aunt Mildred swears is a recipe she stole that last time the UFOs abducted her? While the recipe is good, it may not save the planet, but it might help NASA with their budget shortfall.

On Saturday, June 9, students and staff at UCLA and Caltech hope to raise public awareness of proposed cuts to NASA’s planetary science budget. The first-ever “Planetary Bake Sale” will take place from 12 to 5 p.m. in Pasadena, close to the entrance of JPL, at La Cañada High School.

Hosted by UCLA and Caltech, this event is also being promoted nationwide. A petition signing event with a live DJ, music performances, a cupcake giveaway, raffle, and more has been planned for this unique occasion.

What’s at stake?

The President’s Budget Request calls for a 21% cut in NASA’s 2013 planetary science funding. It is by far the largest cut to any science organization in the federal budget and may affect jobs at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although the appropriations committee recently reinstated $100 million back into the budget, this covers only one third of what is needed to prevent delays and cancellations to missions and planetary research.

Previous planetary missions have revealed that beneath the surfaces of several moons in the outer solar system, there are liquid oceans that may harbor the ingredients for life. Just last year, the
discovery of strong evidence for seasonal water flow on Mars, opened up the possibility that that there may be present-day habitable environments just beneath the planet’s surface.

The proposed cuts will severely hamper NASA’s ability to follow up on these exciting findings, preventing us from taking the next steps crucial in answering the question that has intrigued mankind for millennia: “Is there life beyond Earth?”

For more information about the Planetary Bake Sale, contact Michaela Shopland of UCLA’s Department of Earth & Space Sciences at

Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.

Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.

Make a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *