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Nancy Roman, famous astronomer as & # 39; mother & # 39; from Hubble

Roman spent most of his career helping to develop, fund and promote technology that would help scientists see more clearly outside the Earth's atmosphere.

"Astronomers have long wanted to get observations from the atmosphere. "Looking through the atmosphere is rather like looking through a piece of old stained glass," Roman said American voice in 2011. "The glass has a defect in it, so the picture ran away from it."

NASA praised him for leading what he described as "the first successful astronomical mission," by launching the Orbiting Solar Observatory-1 in 1962 to measure solar electromagnetic radiation, among them.

He also coordinated among scientists and engineers for the success of the launch of geodetic satellites, which were used to measure and map the Earth, and several orbiting astronomical observatories that offered an initial glimpse of discoveries that might be picked by sending observational technologies outside the atmosphere.

But he may be most associated with the initial hard work for the Hubble Space Telescope, the first large telescope to be sent into space for the purpose of collecting photos and data from the universe. Hubble is widely considered to have produced the most significant astronomical observations since Galileo began using telescopes in the early 1600s.

Hubble's design and launch was full of scientific, financial, and bureaucratic difficulties that had to be solved by the Romans. Lobbying for initial funding for Hubble, which costs $ 1.5 billion, he remembers the reason that every American, with the cost of one ticket to the cinema, can be ascertained for years in scientific discovery.

The Hubble Space Telescope underwent the last checkout in 1989 before being launched.

The Hubble Space Telescope underwent the last checkout in 1989 before being launched.Credit:SMH

"During the 1960s and early 1970s no one at NASA was more important in getting the first design and concept to be funded and completed by Hubble," wrote space historian Robert Zimmerman in The Universe in a Mirror, an account about Hubble's creation. "More importantly, that [Dr. Roman] more than anyone who convinced the astronomical community to get behind space astronomy. "

The telescope was not launched until 1990, more than a decade after Roman retired, but at that time, his photographs of the cosmos energized the world.

In 1994, when NASA announced wrong mirror repairs and other problems that caused the original photos to be blurred, Roman was in the audience, knitted.

Edward J. Weiler, who was then Hubble's chief scientist, surprised him by acknowledging it in public, according to Zimmerman's account. "If Lyman Spitzer is the father of the Hubble Space Telescope," Weiler said, referring to the famous astrophysicist, "then Nancy Roman is her mother."

Nancy Grace Roman was born in Nashville on May 16, 1925. Her father is a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey. Her mother is a former music teacher and nature lover who takes her daughter out at night to see the stars.

Roman, who recalled setting up an astronomy club at the age of 11, moved frequently for his father's job before landing in Baltimore, where he graduated from high school. He received a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania in 1946 and a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1949, both in astronomy.

After working early at the University of Chicago and Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin, he was hired by the Naval Research Laboratory in 1955, working in radio astronomy. NASA was formed three years later, with Roman being the earliest employee. He spent the last part of his career at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he oversaw the Astronomical Data Center.

His honors included the Women's Aerospace Lifetime Achievement Award and the NASA Extraordinary Scientific Achievement Award. He helped promote professional opportunities for women through the American Association of University Women and often spoke in schools to encourage children to face scientific challenges.

Roman lived in Chevy Chase, Martyland. At the time of his death and did not have survivors.

In 2017, Lego released a set of statues in honor of four NASA pioneer women: Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel in space; Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space; Margaret Hamilton, a computer programmer who created the software needed for the Apollo mission; and Dr. Romance.

"I'm happy," he said once Science magazine, "I ignored many people who told me that I could not become an astronomer."

The Washington Post

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