This has been tearing around the Web, so this may be the last place you spot it, but it’s pretty awesome. JPL’s Sections 352 and 355 had their annual pumpkin “contest” (in quotes because it isn’t actually judged) and the results are every bit as incredible as you might expect from a bunch of mechanical engineers in charge of robotic deep space exploration. 😉 Predictably, they are awesome, but in most cases with far more attention given to the animation than to the actual pumpkins — the pumpkins seem to be a mere vehicle for the mechanical wonders they’ve whipped together in their spare time.
First off, a lovely overview video:
There are more in the Flikr photostream — totally page through this thing. I think my favorites are the Useless Machine (I don’t know why, but those always give me a grin), the big stack that are based on the three types of wheels that JPL rovers have used on Mars, two different homages to Juno (including one featuring dry ice in a pumpkin painted to resemble Europa), and the Martian Sample Return.
And there were more that weren’t in the Flikr stream! Twitter has a collection of the best posted there, which includes the epic Meteor 2016 “Just End It Already” display (which actually does have quite impressive carving; the two major candidates are instantly recognizable), a better look at the Darth Vader pumpkin, and many more. Twitter: these NASA pumpkins will put yours to shame.