JPL has 18 spacecraft and eight instruments conducting active missions. All of these are part of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, designed to explore Earth and space and to send robots and humans to explore the moon, Mars and beyond. These ventures would not be possible without NASA's Deep Space Network managed by JPL. This international network of antenna complexes on several continents serves as the communication gateway between distant spacecraft and the Earth-based teams that guide them. While carrying out these exploration missions, JPL also conducts a number of space technology demonstrations in support of national security and develops technologies for uses on Earth in fields from public safety to medicine, capitalizing on NASA's investment in space technology.
Check out some very cool pictures here. There is also a huge archive of NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive. For a huge vertical list, click here.
Kepler Mission: are we alone? The Kepler Mission, NASA Discovery mission #10, is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone→ and determine the fraction of the hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy that might have such planets.