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Nancy Roman, mother of Hubble, died at the age of 93



Nancy Grace Roman, a renowned astronomer who launched the Hubble Space Telescope, died on December 25, at the age of 93, according to the Associated Press.

Roman was named "Mother of Hubble" for her work on the Pioneer Telescope, which was launched in 1990. Shortly after the founding of the agency in 1958, she joined the headquarters of NASA. She was the first chief astronomer who offered the scope for such a central department from scratch.

A former astronomer, Lyman Spitzer, suggested exploring the idea of ​​a 1946 space-based optical telescope, but the budget and technology required for such a project were unavailable. Roman led the discussion around the idea in 1

960, three decades before the instrument finally flew. She also helped lead the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), another instrument in orbit. [Hubble in Pictures: Astronomers’ Top Picks (Photos)]

"It has made it possible to build early telescopes to learn what needs to be learned," the science historian Bob Zimmerman told Space.com in 2009. "As soon as this technology started to mature." She urged the design work. Her hard-nosed nature helped to build the telescope.

  Nancy Grace Roman was the first head of astronomy at the Space Research Office at NASA Headquarters, and she helped promote what would become the Hubble Space Telescope here in 1963 with a model of orbiting Solar Observatory.

Nancy Grace Roman was the first head of astronomy at the Space Research Office at NASA Headquarters and helped fight for the future Hubble Space Telescope, which can be seen here in 1963 with a model of the Orbiting Solar Observatory

Picture credits: NASA / Kepler Team

Over the decades of observation, the Hubble Space Telescope has transformed the view of astronomers and those interested in science of the universe around us with its stunning images.

But Roman & # 39; way to lead NASA was full of ordinary challenges, even though her mother had taken her along during the long nights in Michigan, looking for constellations To point out and observe the northern lights, teachers often rejected their interest in mathematics and science.

"I was told from the beginning that a woman could not be an astronomer," she said in a video released by NASA earlier this year. In high school, her counselor did not support her academic interests. "She looked me in the nose and mocked:" What woman would take mathematics instead of Latin?

Later, she earned a bachelor's degree in astronomy from Swarthmore College, and subsequently earned a doctorate from the University of Chicago, where her doctoral adviser ignored her for six months, Roman later

She was a decade after graduation When she came to NASA, Roman retired from the agency in 1969. After retirement, she regularly spoke about the importance of making astronomy fairer, and last year she was immortalized in Lego's phrase "Women of NASA."

Email Meghan Bartels from mbartels @ space.com or follow her @meghanbartels . Follow us @Spacedotcom and Facebook .Original article to Space.com .


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