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Space Telescope Named After Dr. Nancy Grace Roman, NASA’s First Chief of Astronomy

20 May 2020, 22:12 UTC
Space Telescope Named After Dr. Nancy Grace Roman, NASA’s First Chief of Astronomy
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NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is now named the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, after NASA’s first Chief of Astronomy. Credit: NASA
From NASA on May 20, 2020:
NASA is naming its next-generation space telescope currently under development, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), in honor of Nancy Grace Roman, NASA’s first chief astronomer who paved the way for space telescopes focused on the broader universe. The newly-named Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope – or Roman Space Telescope, for short – is set to launch in the mid-2020s. It will investigate long-standing astronomical mysteries, such as the force behind the universe’s expansion, and search for distant planets beyond our solar system.
In this image from the early 1970s, Dr. Roman is shown at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Image Credit: NASA
Nancy Grace Roman (1925-2018), NASA’s first chief astronomer, is known as the “Mother of Hubble.” In a time when women were discouraged from studying math and science, Roman became a research astronomer and was instrumental in taking NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope from an idea to reality and establishing NASA’s program of space-based astronomical observatories.
“Nancy Grace Roman was a leader and advocate whose ...

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