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The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is

a Federally Funded Research and Development Center that is operated by the California Institute of Technology using government-owned equipment. The California Institute of Technology is under a contract with NASA that is renegotiated every 5 years. JPL develops and maintains technical and managerial competencies specified in the contract in support of NASA’s programs and projects including (1) exploring the solar system to fully understand its formation and evolution, (2) establishing continuous permanent robotic presence on Mars to discover its history and habitability, and (3) conducting communications and navigation for deep space missions.[1]