Astronauts of the Corn: A-maze-ing Way to Honor NASA’s Achievements

On Saturday, I drove out to the Dell’Osso Family Farm in Lathrop, Calif., to see this amazing maze they had cut into their cornfield to honor the 50th anniversary of NASA’s human spaceflight program. There are seven mazes across the country; this one focuses on the space agency’s Kepler planet finding spacecraft, which is run by the nearby NASA Ames Research Center.

NASA Ames officials were out on Saturday for the opening day. Dr. John Hogan talked about how to sustain life in space using regenerative life support systems. And Drs. Steve Bryson and Steve Howell did 40-minute presentations about the Kepler mission.

Dr. Steve Howell and Dr. Steve Bryson show the relative sizes of Earth and Jupiter by placing our home planet over the Great Red Spot.
Children holding planets circle a boy holding a star in front of a graph showing Kepler's detection of two real worlds.

Dr. John Hogan also talked about how to sustain life in space using regenerative systems. And astronaut Yvonne Cagle signed autographs.


The Dell’Osso Family Farm maze is open through Oct. 31. It’s quite a challenging maze, actually, even with a map. I admit to getting quite lost in that whole area between NASA and Finding New Planets.  I was far from the only one.

In addition to the maze, the farm offers family activities that include pony and train rides, a wild West show, aerial rope courses, zip lines and more. And fresh pumpkin pie. Maybe the best I ever tasted. Way better than what you get at Safeway.

There are six other mazes on farms in Georgia, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Utah and Virginia this month that also honor NASA’s achievements. For more information, visit The website has a contest you can enter for four tickets to visit the Kennedy Space Center and have lunch with an astronaut.