Hubblesite Org Webbtelescope Org Biography & Facts
The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), science operations and mission operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and science operations center for the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. STScI was established in 1981 as a community-based science center that is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). STScI's offices are located on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus and in the Rotunda building in Baltimore, Maryland.In addition to performing continuing science operations of HST and preparing for scientific exploration with JWST and Roman, STScI manages and operates the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), which holds data from numerous active and legacy missions, including HST, JWST, Kepler, TESS, Gaia, and Pan-STARRS.Most of the funding for STScI activities comes from contracts with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center but there are smaller activities funded by NASA's Ames Research Center, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the European Space Agency (ESA).The staff at STScI consists of scientists (mostly astronomers and astrophysicists), spacecraft engineers, software engineers, data management personnel, education and public outreach experts, and administrative and business support personnel. There are approximately 100 Ph.D. scientists working at STScI, 15 of whom are ESA staff who are on assignment to the HST project. The total STScI staff consists of about 850 people as of 2021.STScI operates its missions on behalf of NASA, the worldwide astronomy community, and to the benefit of the public. The science operations activities directly serve the astronomy community, primarily in the form of HST and JWST (and eventually Roman) observations and grants, but also include distributing data from other NASA and ground-based missions via MAST. The ground system development activities create and maintain the software systems that are needed to provide these services to the astronomy community. STScI's public outreach activities provide a wide range of resources for media, informal education venues such as planetariums and science museums, and the general public. STScI also serves as a source of guidance to NASA on a range of optical and UV space astrophysics issues.
The STScI staff interacts and communicates with the professional astronomy community through a number of channels, including participation at the bi-annual meetings of the American Astronomical Society, publication of regular STScI newsletters and the STScI website, hosting user committees and science working groups, and holding several scientific and technical symposia and workshops each year. These activities enable STScI to disseminate information to the telescope user community as well as enabling the STScI staff to maximize the scientific productivity of the facilities they operate by responding to the needs of the community and of NASA.
Note: Information in this section needs updating. For current activities, consult STScI's official website.
Telescope science proposal selection
The STScI conducts all activities required to select, schedule, and implement the science programs of the Hubble Space Telescope. The first step in this process is to support the annual community-led selection of the scientific programs that will be performed with HST. This begins with publishing of the annual Call for Proposals, which specifies the currently supported science instrument capabilities, proposal requirements and the submission deadline. Anyone is eligible to submit a proposal. All proposals are critically peer-reviewed by the Time Allocation Committee (TAC). The TAC consists of about 100 members of the U.S. and international astronomical community, selected to represent a broad range of research expertise needed to evaluate the proposals. Each proposal cycle typically involves reviewing 700 to 1100 proposals. Only 15 - 20% of these proposals will eventually be selected for implementation. The TAC reviews several categories of observing time, as well as proposals for archival, theoretical, and combined research projects between HST and other space-based or ground-based observatories (e.g., Chandra X-ray Observatory and the National Optical Astronomy Observatories). STScI provides all technical and logistical support for these activities. The annual cycle of proposal calls was occasionally altered in duration in years when a HST servicing mission was scheduled.
Proposers fortunate enough to be awarded telescope time, referred to as General Observers (GOs), must then provide detailed requirements needed to schedule and implement their observing programs. This information is provided to STScI on what is called a Phase II proposal. The Phase II proposal specifies instrument operation modes, exposure times, telescope orientations, and so on. The STScI staff provide the web-based software called Exposure Time Calculators (ETCs) that allow GOs to estimate how much observing time any of the onboard detectors will need to accumulate the amount of light required to accomplish their scientific objectives. In addition, the STScI staff carries out all the steps necessary to implement each specific program, as well as plan the entire ensemble of programs for the year. For HST, this includes finding guide stars, checking on bright object constraints, implementing specific scheduling requirements, and working with observers to understand and factor in specific or any non-standard requirements they may have.
Once the Phase II information is gathered, a long-range observing plan is developed that covers the entire year, finding appropriate times to schedule individual observations, and at the same time ensuring effective and efficient use of the telescope through the year. Detailed observing schedules are created each week, including, in the case of HST operations, scheduling the data communication paths via the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) and generating the binary command loads for uplink to the spacecraft. Adjustments can be made to both long-range and weekly plans in response to Targets of Opportunity (e.g., for transient events like supernovae or coordination with one-of-a-kind events such as comet impact spacecraft). The STScI uses the Min-conflicts algorithm to schedule observation time on the telescope. The STScI is currently developing similar processes for JWST, although the operational details will be very different due to its different instrumentation and spacecraft constraints, and its location at the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point (~1.5 million km from Earth) rather than the low Earth orbit (~565 km) used by HST.
Flight Operations consists of the direct support and monitoring of HST functions in real-time. Real-time daily flight operations for HST include about 4 command load uplinks,.... Discover the Hubblesite Org Webbtelescope Org popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Hubblesite Org Webbtelescope Org books.