Who can carve the best pumpkin? Since 2011, JPLers in two groups—Spacecraft Design Engineering, and Payload & Small Spacecraft Mechanical Engineering—have held a Halloween contest to find out. The only rules: they must use a pumpkin given to them that day, and they only have one hour to carve it. Preparation ahead of time is allowed.
Josh St. Vaughn, deputy spacecraft manager for the Europa Clipper mission, originated the pumpkin-carving competition.
“All these people are hyper-competitive, so every year it ratchets up the level. And some of them don’t quite work, but the thought processes to get there are really cool,” said St. Vaughn. “The winning doesn’t matter; it’s about the fun and teamwork that happens throughout the whole process.”
It’s never too early to start planning next year’s pumpkin. Get design tips from JPL engineers to make your own NASA pumpkin at .