[Skip to Content]
Emergency Page

Emergency Website for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology

Pre-approval Required for Lab Entry

Effective Monday, March 23, Protective Services officers will deny Lab entry to individuals not pre-approved as mission-essential/critical. Any exceptions, including for short-term access, must be worked through line or project management, approved by the cognizant Director For, and authorized by the Protective Services Division Manager.

To avoid a wasted trip and reduce mutual exposure between officers and personnel, no one should come to Lab without pre-authorized access. Any access privileges granted before March 20 need to be re-confirmed.

Further Restrictions to Lab Access

Following discussions with NASA, and in a continued response to the governor’s order on March 19 for all Californians to stay home, JPL will further restrict access to nearly all personnel, starting at noon, March 20. The only exception to this order will be mission-essential personnel for Mars 2020 and limited staff required to protect current mission operations and the safety and security of critical hardware and Lab facilities.

Effective March 23, there will be no east gate access to the Lab. All remaining essential personnel will enter through the main gate.

New Public Health Order

Effective immediately, our county’s Department of Public Health recommends that all residents stay at home except to buy necessary supplies and seek medical care.

The new guidance exempts essential workers including military/defense contractors and federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs). County officials have confirmed to us that the mission-essential work at the Lab falls under this exemption. Our designated mission-critical personnel are still authorized to work on Lab to continue our high-priority projects.

We will continue with mandatory telework for those not on the critical personnel list.

Information During Mandatory Telework

The Lab has created an external page that mirrors the content of FAQs posted internally. Please visit jpl.nasa.gov/stateofthelab for updates related to JPL business during this period of mandatory telework. The JPL emergency page will be reserved for urgent public health notices.

Telework Mandatory Effective March 17

While we are not aware of any JPL  personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19, out of an abundance of  caution we will adopt mandatory telework effective March 17, 2020 and  until further notice.

Access to JPL facilities will be limited to  personnel designated by line and project management as necessary to  support mission-essential activities. Supervisors will be reaching out  to inform personnel of their status. Protective Services personnel will  restrict laboratory access and are instructed to allow entry only to  personnel designated on the official list as mission-essential.

All  other employees and affiliates will be required to perform their duties  remotely to the maximum extent possible and charge their work time to  the supported tasks.

We understand that some of you may not be  able to perform all of your duties remotely. In these cases and with  supervisor approval, you may charge your time to “Paid Administrative  Leave.” This provisional guidance is subject to change. Affiliates  should seek direction from their employers.

Precautions at JPL

To date, we are not aware of any JPL  employees or affiliates who have tested positive for COVID-19. We have  received anecdotal reports of JPLers who may have been exposed to  individuals with COVID-19. Some individuals have placed themselves in  voluntary quarantine.

We are following up on every report and –  out of an abundance of caution – we are taking appropriate measures such  as communicating with affected colleagues and sanitizing work areas.

We  will alert you immediately if we learn of a positive test result  for any member of the JPL family, and will work closely with the County  to identify and test anyone else who may have been exposed. All JPLers  are urged to practice social distancing at all times, on the Lab and  when away from home.

Self-isolation for Vulnerable Individuals

JPLers are advised to follow Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directive of March 15 for individuals older than 65 or chronically ill to self-isolate at home. Please talk to your supervisor if you need to retrieve items on Lab but cannot leave home.

Updates on Parking and Affiliate Telework

How will expanded telework affect parking policies?

To make it easier to retrieve equipment and in consideration of increased parking space during expanded telework, starting Monday, March 16 and until further notice, all employees and affiliates may park on Lab. Ample parking in the structure should be available.

Should affiliates also telework?

As with employees, affiliates who can perform their role by teleworking should do as soon as possible, in compliance with their employers’ policies. Affiliates who cannot work remotely and are comfortable coming to Lab should do so. If neither case applies to you, your group’s JPL manager will work with JPL Acquisition and your employer to obtain further direction.

Additional Guidance for Monday, March 16

Are people without existing flex-work agreements required to come to work at JPL on Monday, March 16? And, is everyone who comes to Lab Monday, March 16, required to spend the entire day working on-site?

The objective for Monday remains orderly transition. As of March 14, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in the Lab community. Nevertheless, personnel should not feel obligated to remain on Lab longer than they feel is necessary. You can come on Lab to collect whatever you need and spend the rest of the day working remotely. You do not need to come to Lab if you are already set up to telework and do not have previously scheduled activities on site. Just let your supervisor know you will be working from home.

Updated Telework and Travel Guidance

Should I come to Lab or work remotely next week?

In the interest of public health and community wellbeing, all personnel able to telework are highly encouraged to do so beginning Tuesday, March 17 until further notice. If you are able to work remotely, you should do so as soon as you are able, in coordination with your supervisor and project customers. We encourage you to use Monday, March 16, as a transition day for retrieving any important items left on Lab or making other preparations for extended telework. You are encouraged to take home your laptop computer and smart card reader. You should also secure hardware in the event you may not be returning to it for some time. Projects and orgs should make every effort to hold meetings online and limit Lab work to hardware interaction and critical small meetings.

If you don’t have Wifi or have unreliable Wifi at home, OCIO recommends users connect their laptop to a hotspot from their phone. You can find instructions on how to do this for Windows or for Apple devices. Other options are to work from a location with Wifi, order home Wifi, or purchase a mobile hotspot from your cell provider.

If, after coordination with your supervisor and project customers, it is determined that you are unable to effectively telework, you may continue to come to Lab until further notice. In the event of further escalation of the situation, access to the laboratory may be restricted to safety and mission-essential personnel for key activities. We are working to identify personnel who fall in this category. A “special circumstances” waiver process will govern access for additional personnel, as needed.

Directions are available on the Lab’s remote work information site, or from the helpdesk at 4-4357.

Will there be changes to Lab services like cafeterias and facilities?

Cafeteria services during voluntary and mandatory telework days will operate on an RDO Friday schedule and with limited services. Cafe 167 will stay open with limited service. Vending machines are available in Building 114 near the JPL Store. Facility services and maintenance will also operate with limited services. Maintenance items will be deferred until we return to normal operations and office moves will be suspended. Trash and recycling will be streamlined. Construction activities for Buildings 230 and 150 will continue, as will technical services.

What is the latest travel guidance?

Effective immediately, any domestic or international travel is limited to mission-essential purposes and requires approval from your Director for. JPL is defining “mission-essential” as travel that requires in-person support to delivery, integration and test of flight hardware that may present an unacceptable cost and schedule impact to the mission/project if not performed as scheduled. This definition will not cover all possible scenarios and managers will evaluate the travel request in consultation with the HR business partner. Travelers will be required to document a travel plan with their supervisor and their HR BP, including protective measures to be taken during the trip and upon return. Decision authority for allowance of travel is Programmatic Director for in consultation with the line organization.

All personnel returning from any international travel, whether business or personal, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of their return.

Can I attend conferences or large gatherings?

Travel to conferences or scientific meetings, whether domestic or international, is not considered mission-essential. All conference travel requires authorization at the Director for level.

Information for Teleworking Personnel

In the event JPL moves to large-scale telework, urgent updates on the coronavirus situation and JPL's response will be posted here for personnel unable to connect to the network or needing to access information on their personal phones. This page is accessible on and off Lab without logging into the JPL network.

To sign up to receive emergency text notifications from JPL on your personal phone, enter your number under "Personal Information" in the Employee Self-Service section of EBIS.

With the rapid global spread of the new coronavirus, JPL IT wants to ensure employees are prepared to work remotely. With so many uncertainties related to the coronavirus, it's recommended that you bring home your work laptop every night.

Everyday Best Practices:

Remember to accept regular software updates and patches, keep your password up to date, and use VPN when working away from JPL.
Be sure to take power cords and peripherals needed for your systems and devices.
Bookmark the Working Remotely page, which has an introductory section for first-time remote users, highlights essential tools required to work remotely, information of connecting securely to work, and best practices.
Here are specific instructions for connecting remotely:

To set up for working on the JPL network, go to https://ras.jpl.nasa.gov/
To set up for working remotely, go to https://workingremotely.jpl.nasa.gov.
Additional Resources:

Smartcard Authentication – https://smartcard.jpl.nasa.gov
Mandatory Smartcard login is already underway. If your system is mandatory Smartcard enabled, have your Smartcard close by to log in.

Options to connect to JPL

Pulse Secure – https://connect.jpl.nasa.gov

VPN Full Tunnel: Fully simulates working at JPL; enables access to NASA sites. The Pulse Secure software must be installed on your system. Does not allow access to your local network or printer.
VPN Split Tunnel: A secure VPN type that encrypts traffic destined for JPL but does not allow access to NASA sites. Allows access to your local network and printer or file share while connected to VPN.
BrowserRAS: Use when you need quick access to Web-based JPL resources (e.g., JPL Timecard, DocuShare).
RSA SecurID (Physical or Soft Token)
Connecting to JPL’s VPN requires an RSA token code. More information is available at https://dir.jpl.nasa.gov/tfa/index.php

Outlook and Webmail – https://webmail.jpl.nasa.gov
Stay in touch with your colleagues and maintain focus on your work.

Large File Transfer – https://lft.jpl.nasa.gov
Securely send files larger than can be handled by email.

Jabber – https://jabber.jpl.nasa.gov
Chat via instant messaging (IM/Chat), display  presence of coworkers, voice, video, voice messaging, desktop sharing, and conferencing.

Webex – https://webex.jpl.nasa.gov
Host and participate in online virtual meetings.

UStream – https://align.ustream.tv/Jpltv-Ustream
Live streaming platform that provides access to JPL TV's internal channels only and does not require a JPL network connection.

Slack – https://jpl.slack.com/
A cloud-based collaboration tool that brings together people, their tools and services into a single group chat platform.

For questions about working remotely, the Service Desk is available to help answer your questions at 818-354-4357 (4-HELP) and the 4-HELP Knowledge Base on the IT Portal https://jpl.service-now.com.