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NASA renames its WFIRST Telescope after ‘Mother of Hubble’ Nancy Grace Roman

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NASA Renamed Its WFIRST Telescope after Mother of HubbleOn May 20, 2020 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) renamed its Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope(WFIRST), a next-generation space telescope as Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope or Roman Space Telescope to honor Nancy Grace Roman(“Mother” of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope), NASA’s 1st chief astronomer, who paved way for space telescopes focused on the broader universe.

  • This telescope 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.  

Why is it named after Nancy Grace Roman?

It is because of her leadership and vision that NASA became a pioneer in astrophysics and launched the Hubble  Space Telescope 30 years ago, the world’s most powerful and productive space telescope.

Roman tirelessly advocated for new tools that will allow scientists to study the broader universe from space. 

Key Points

NASA celebrated the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. It recognizes the incredible achievements of women in science and moves us even closer to no more hidden figures and no more hidden galaxies

About Nancy Grace Roman

She was born on May 16, 1925, in Nashville, Tennessee & died in 2018

i.Roman came to NASA in 1959 as a chief of astronomy and relativity in the Office of Space Science, managing astronomy-related programs and grants after  6 months after the agency had been established.

ii.Through her leadership, NASA launched four Orbiting Astronomical Observatories between 1966 and 1972.

iii.In the mid-1960s, she set up a committee of astronomers and engineers to envision a telescope that could accomplish important scientific goals.

Gist about the Roman Space Telescope

The Roman Space Telescope will be a NASA observatory designed to settle essential questions in the areas of dark energy, exoplanets and infrared astrophysics. The telescope has a primary mirror that is 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) in diameter and is the same size as the Hubble Space Telescope’s primary mirror. 

It is designed with 2 instruments namely, the Wide Field Instrument and a technology demonstration Coronagraph Instrument.

About NASA:
Headquarters– Washington, United States.
Administrator– James Frederick  Bridenstine or “Jim” Bridenstine (13th administrator)