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article imageThe 'Mother Of Hubble space telescope' dies aged 93

By Tim Sandle     Jan 1, 2019 in Science
Dr Nancy Grace Roman, the first woman to hold an executive position at the U.S. space agency NASA, has passed away aged 93. She was affectionately known as "Mother of the Hubble" in recognition of her work on the Hubble Space Telescope.
Nancy Roman had a long career at NASA. She is perhaps best known for setting up the committee which developed the Hubble Telescope. Roman was involved with the early planning and remit for the space telescope. It is this involvement that led to the moniker “Mother of Hubble" becoming associated with her., although she was modest about here involvement:
"The idea of Hubble was something that was among the astronomical community for generations; it was not something that was new. Astronomers badly wanted a large telescope above the atmosphere."
Nancy Grace Roman was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1926. Aged eleven she set up an astronomy club among her classmates in Nevada, sparking her life-long interest in the subject of space. She worked for NASA for 21 years, including a spell as chief of astronomy and solar physics from 1961 to 1963, becoming the first woman in a leadership position at the space agency.
Hubble s view of Horsehead Nebula as at near-infrared wavelengths (1.1 microns (blue/cyan) & 1.6 mic...
Hubble's view of Horsehead Nebula as at near-infrared wavelengths (1.1 microns (blue/cyan) & 1.6 microns (red/orange)) with the Wide Field Camera 3 on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The image is approximately 6 arcminutes across and is oriented with north to the left and east down.
NASA, ESA & Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)
Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990, named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble (famous for his work in extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology ). It was the first major optical telescope to be placed in space. Using a With a 2.4-meter mirror, Hubble's instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared spectra, taking images as it whirls around Earth at about 17,000 miles per hour.
READ MORE: Hubble images reveal the distribution of dark matter
In terms of her contributions to astronomy, Roman wrote a paper on the detection of extraterrestrial planets and she discovered that stars made of hydrogen and helium move faster than stars composed of other heavier elements.
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NASA
On Roman's passing, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted: "Nancy Grace Roman, often referred to as the “Mother of Hubble," passed away on Christmas Day. Dr. Roman was the first woman to hold an executive position at @NASA. Her contributions to this agency will live on and my prayers are with her family."
A further mark of her memory is that the asteroid 2516 Roman is named in her honor, and a "Women of NASA" LEGO set includes a mini-figurine of Roman, plus three other female scientists: Margaret Hamilton (computer scientist), Mae Jemison (NASA astronaut), and Sally Ride (also an astronaut).
More about Hubble space telescope, Astronomy, Nancy Grace Roman
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