PLENARY SPEECH: Joseph Howard
Optical Engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, United States
Title: Commissioning the James Webb Space Telescope
Astronomy is arguably in a golden age, where current and future NASA space telescopes are expected to contribute to this rapid growth in understanding of our universe. The most recent addition to our space-based telescopes dedicated to astronomy and astrophysics is the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which launched on 25 December 2021. This talk will discuss the first six months in space for JWST, which were spent commissioning the observatory with many deployments, alignments, and system and instrumentation checks. These engineering activities help verify the proper working of the telescope prior to commencing full science operations. If time, future telescopes will also be briefly discussed, including the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (RST), the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), as well as the mission concept put forward from the 2020 Decadal Survey in Astrophysics.
More about the speaker
Joseph M. Howard received BS in physics from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and his Ph.D. in Optical Design from The Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York. He now serves as an optical designer for NASA, working on projects including the James Webb Space Telescope, the Roman Space Telescope, LISA, and the other future space missions. Joe lives with his wife, two children, and dog and cat in Washington DC.
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