In a dark conference room, a pumpkin landed gently on the moon, its retro-rockets smoldering as a pumpkin floated across Square 51 like a pumpkin alien, defeated.
Suffice it to say that when scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, compete in a carving race, the solar system is the limit. Now in its ninth year, the race gives teams only one hour to carve (outside the clock, at their lunch break), though they can prepare pumpkin-free materials – such as backgrounds, sound effects and motor parts – ahead of time.  "It's completely different from our normal engineering work, which makes it a nice change of pace. You can't do a lot of arts and crafts in the rover world," says Billy Allen, mechatronics engineer at the Mars 2020 JPL Rover .
The Moon Jack-Ounder of his team ̵
The other winner, "Lucy Chocolate Factory", was a full-length recap of the Switching Job episode from the TV show "Love Lucy," complete with pumpkin Lucy standing in front of a candy bar.
Not that choosing just two winners from all the creative entries is easy: there was a lander Europe punching the moon's ice in the ocean below and discovering life: a pumpkin version of Disney's Nemo One team went with a smoky, green-scale dragon coming out of a pumpkin egg. created a meal from the movie Us, This pumpkin pierces its twin. This is a JPL that specializes in robotic research, even has a cat pumpkin in Roomba, which chases a laser pointer.
Senior Mechanical Engineer Mike Meacham helps run the race while also participating. made up of senior engineers and managers, ranked their age with "Emoji Hell," Newton's giant swing made of pumpkin emoji and bowling balls. "I think people will get bigger this year. I have seen many structures, including ours, which is huge. I had to slip it in last night, "he said. His hint is why the records may be a little bigger this year? Because so many people are focusing on keeping the Mars 2020 rover scheduled for launch in next July or August, "It's nice to do something different."
After the hectic part of the event, during which some teams used power saws for mass training, the creations were moved to the judges' rooms. Then, while other employees admired their work , the panel of judges, made up of other engineers and invited guests, examine the pumpkins as well as the lights on and off – even better to see the creative use of lights and smoke machines.  JPL prides itself on its Halloween tradition, especially after the holiday It's also the lab's birthday.In addition to pumpkin carving, JPLers will compete in a costume contest and celebrate with exoplanet themed horror films.
Photos and videos are available on NASA JPL's Vimeo and Flickr account.
Media News Contact  Ariel Samuelson
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA