On Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 11:15 a.m., astronaut John Grunsfeld, Ph.D., will present a one-time lecture, “A Hubble Story.” In May 2009, a team of astronauts flew to the Hubble Space Telescope on space shuttle Atlantis. On their 13-day mission and over the course of five spacewalks, they completed an extreme makeover of the orbiting observatory. Scientific results from the new and repaired instruments hint at a bright scientific future for Hubble and will be presented in the talk, as well as a narrative of the adventures on orbit. Pictures and video will be utilized during the lecture.
As a child, John Grunsfeld dreamed of becoming an astronaut. He studied science and his dream came true. A veteran of five space flights, STS-67 (1995), STS-81 (1997), STS-103 (1999) STS-109 (2002) and STS-125 (2009), John has logged more than 58 days in space, including 58 hours and 30 minutes of extravehicular activities (EVA) in eight spacewalks. He visited the Hubble Space Telescope three times as an astronaut to service and upgrade the observatory.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980 and then returned to his native Chicago to earn a master’s degree and a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago. After he earned his doctorate, he joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology as a senior research fellow in physics, mathematics and astronomy.
In 1992, he joined NASA’s astronaut corps, and qualified for flight selection as a mission specialist. He was assigned as the lead for the development of portable computers for use in space. He first flew to space aboard Endeavour in March 1995. His second flight was aboard Atlantis in January 1997. This mission docked with the Russian space station Mir, exchanged U.S. astronauts living aboard the outpost and performed scientific research. John then flew on three more shuttle missions — Discovery in December 1999, Columbia in March 2002 and Atlantis in May 2009. He was the lead spacewalker in charge of Hubble activities. During this mission, he successfully serviced and upgraded the Hubble Space Telescope.
After the 1999 mission, he served as NASA’s chief of extravehicular activity. John also was an instructor in the Extravehicular Activity Branch and Robotics Branch of the astronaut program and worked on the exploration concepts and technologies for use beyond low Earth orbit in the Advanced Programs Branch. In 2004 and 2005, John was the commander and science officer on the backup crew for Expedition 13 to the International Space Station (ISS). He also served as the NASA Chief Scientist detailed to NASA headquarters from 2003 to 2004. In this position, he helped develop President George W. Bush’s “Vision for Space Exploration.”
He retired from NASA in December 2009 and served as deputy director for the Space Telescope Science Institute, in Baltimore, managing the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope and its partner in the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope. He returned to NASA in January 2012 as the associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA HQ in Washington. One facet of John’s duties as associate administrator is representing NASA’s current and future space science programs and projects to Congress, the media and the public.
To register for the one-time lecture, click here.