In a nod to the organization’s 80th anniversary, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) staff members were greeted on March 10 with coffee costing a mere 80 cents per cup in the cafeteria – and an otherwise understated ushering in of a new decade.

Since 1942, APL has served as an indispensable resource to the government and the nation’s defense and security. The laboratory officially marked its oak anniversary with a video celebration and a focus on staying true to its time-tested tenets. As the lab embarks on this latest chapter, its commitment to providing previously unimaginable solutions to the nation’s most complex national security and space exploration challenges remains steadfast.

“As we celebrate APL’s first eight decades, we do so with an eye toward the future,” said APL Director Ralph Semmel. “We have learned with each new challenge we face – as a laboratory and as a nation – that solving complex scientific and technical problems is only part of our charge. We must do so always with an operational perspective and an anticipatory stance, envisioning what may be over the horizon and pushing to remain at the leading edge.”

While the anniversary kicked off what will be a year-long celebration for APL staff members, it also provides an opportunity to look back at the lab’s history.

For more on the laboratory’s roots, visit APL’s history page and enjoy the 80th anniversary timeline video, which is available at