Telescope WFIRST was renamed in honor of Nancy Roman

Infrared telescope, WFIRST, which plans to launch into space in the middle of this decade, received a new name — Roman Space Telescope. The unit was named in honor of Nancy Roman world, which was created several space research satellites and observatories, including the Hubble, reported on the website NASA.

Astronomer Nancy Roman was known as the first woman to hold a senior position in NASA: in particular, she headed the Department of astronomy and solar physics in the years 1961-1964. Also under her leadership, were created and launched several space research satellites and observatories: IUE (International Ultraviolet Explorer), COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) and four of the space telescope program Orbiting Astronomical Observatory. The novel is also engaged in scientific activity: her work deals with the classification and characteristics of the movement and evolution of stars in the milky Way.

In 1971, the novel created a scientific group for the development of large space telescope LST (Large Space Telescope), and brought together engineers and astronomers. She was able to convince NASA and the U.S. Congress the advisability and importance of building a space Observatory and has made a great contribution to the development of the project. In the early 1980-ies of the new telescope was named for Edwin Hubble, and after its launch into space in 1991 has become the most famous space telescope. For this work Nancy Roman was nicknamed “mother of the Hubble”.

May 20, 2020, the Director of NASA, James Breidenstein announced that now the space created by wide-angle infrared telescope WFIRST (Wide Field Infra-Red Survey Telescope), which must be launched into space in the middle of the 2020-ies, will now be called Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (or Roman Space Telescope) — in recognition of the work of Nancy Roman.

Roman Space Telescope will conduct observations in the infrared range, in particular to study dark matter and dark energy. The telescope and coronagraphdesigned for direct observation of exoplanets has already passed the stage of conceptual design review, and currently, we are developing and testing equipment for the Observatory. Diameter primary mirror of the telescope is 2.4 meters.

However, for a long time the Administration of President trump offers to halt work because of the high cost of the telescope and the change of priorities from basic science to manned launches and the development of near space, although NASA did not agree. Currently, funding for the program WFIRST will continue until September 2020, and in the proposal for the budget for 2021, the project is not yet included: the authorities want to focus on the completion of the space telescope “James Webb”.

Earlier we told you about the successful operation of the transfer of the space telescope “James Webb” in the flight configuration. What are the tasks put before the new Observatory, you can learn from our material “That will see the replacement of Hubble?”.

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