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NASA Names Astrophysics Fellowship For Iconic Woman Astronomer



Aug. 30, 2011

Dwayne Brown 
Headquarters, Washington      
202-358-1726 
dwayne.c.brown@xxxxxxxx   


RELEASE: 11-277

NASA NAMES ASTROPHYSICS FELLOWSHIP FOR ICONIC WOMAN ASTRONOMER

WASHINGTON -- NASA has established an astrophysics technology 
fellowship named for the woman many credit as one of the key 
contributors in the creation of the Hubble Space Telescope. 

The Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship in Astrophysics is 
designed to foster technologies that advance scientific 
investigations in the origin and physics of the universe and future 
exoplanet exploration. The fellowship will help early career 
researchers develop innovative technologies to enable scientific 
breakthroughs, while creating the skills necessary to lead 
astrophysics projects and future investigations. 

It also will foster and support early-career instrument builders on 
the path to long-term positions. 

"The Roman fellowship is an important opportunity to infuse new ideas 
and technologies into frontier research areas as diverse as dark 
energy, black holes and life elsewhere in the universe," said Jon 
Morse, astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters in 
Washington. "This will be the most substantial fellowship at five 
years, compared to others that typically run two to three years." 

Beginning Nov. 18, early-career researchers may submit proposals for 
one-year concept studies for the development of new astrophysics 
technologies. Following a NASA review of the proposals, three to six 
applicants will be chosen for one-year fellowships to develop their 
concepts. Based on peer-review of the reports from the one-year 
studies, NASA will then select the fellows to implement the proposed 
technologies for up to four additional years. 

The first selection of fellows will be announced during February 2012. 
Finalists selected in early 2013 to execute their projects over four 
years will receive up to $1 million in funding. 

The fellowship's namesake is a distinguished American astronomer. Her 
celebrated career included multiple scientific and technical 
achievements at NASA and her important contributions to the design of 
the Hubble Space Telescope. 

"The exciting results from the Hubble, other satellites and probes 
would not have been possible without innovative solutions to many 
technical problems, Roman said."Just as the lunar landings inspired 
many young people to consider careers in space and related fields, 
the solution of the challenging instrumentation problems presented in 
space science can inspire young people to push beyond the current 
state of the art." 

Born in Nashville, Tenn. in 1925, Roman studied science and earned her 
doctorate in astronomy from the University of Chicago in 1949. She 
became NASA's first chief of astronomy in 1959. As part of her new 
job, Roman travelled around the country, trying to understand what 
astronomers really wanted. 

Roman set up a committee of astronomers and NASA engineers that 
eventually led to a detailed design for the Hubble. The telescope was 
launched April 24, 1990, aboard space shuttle's Discovery's STS-31 
mission. Hubble's subsequent discoveries revolutionized nearly all 
areas of astronomical research from planetary science to cosmology. 

Since retiring from NASA in 1979, Roman spends much of her time 
consulting, teaching and lecturing across the country in addition to 
being a passionate advocate for science. 

The new technologies enabled by the fellowship will complement the 
innovative science at the core of NASA's other three astrophysics 
fellowships: the Sagan Fellowship created in 2009, focusing on 
exoplanet exploration; the Hubble Fellowship created in 1990, 
supporting research into cosmic origins; and the Einstein Fellowship 
created in 2009, enabling investigations on the physics of the 
cosmos. 

NASA's Astrophysics Division mission seeks to understand the universe 
and our place in it. Missions investigate the very moment of creation 
of the universe; learn the full history of stars and galaxies; 
discover how planetary systems form and how environments hospitable 
for life develop; and search for the signature of life on other 
worlds. 

For information about applying to the fellowship, visit: 


http://bit.ly/qWEPYC 


For more information about NASA's astrophysics fellowships, visit: 


http://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/student-programs/ 


For more information about NASA astrophysics programs, visit: 


http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics   

	
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