After the James Webb Space Telescope
In-Space Assembly of Very Large Space-Based Observatories

John M. Grunsfeld

Videography by Nerine and Robert Clemenzi, Edited by Nerine Clemenzi
Copyright © Philosophical Society of Washington.  All rights reserved.

Sponsored by The Policy Studies Organization
In Cooperation with the American Public University

About the Lecture:

The lecture will discuss the scientific rationale and technical basis for space-based observatories that will follow the James Webb Telescope, focusing on how they could be built, what they will be able to see that we cannot already observe and how the information they obtain is likely to help us understand the universe around us.

Commercial Human Spaceflight


About the Speaker

John Grunsfeld

John M. Grunsfeld is recently retired from the position of Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA.  Previously he was Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STSI)  and Professor of Physics at Johns Hopkins University.  John was an astronaut from 1992 until joining STSI as Deputy Director.  Before becoming an astronaut, John was a Senior Research Fellow at CalTech in Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy.

John made five space shuttle flights.  He visited Hubble three times on those missions, and performed eight spacewalks to service and upgrade the observatory.   In all, he logged more than 58 days in space, and 58 hours and 30 minutes of spacewalk time.  He made his first shuttle flight on Endeavour in 1995, studying the far ultraviolet spectra of faint astronomical objects using the Astro-2 Observatory.  He made his second flight on Atlantis in 1997, docking with the Russian space station Mir.  He made his last three missions on Discovery in 1999, Columbia in 2002 and Atlantis in 2009, upgrading and servicing the Hubble Space Telescope on all three missions.  He was the Payload Commander and lead spacewalker on the missions in 2002 and 2009.  And he served as the commander and the science officer on the backup crew for Expedition 13 to the International Space Station in 2004 and 2005.

As Deputy Director at STSI John managed the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope and the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope.   He has done research on high energy astrophysics, cosmic ray physics and exoplanets, focusing especially on future astronomical instrumentation.  His doctoral work used a cosmic ray experiment on the space shuttle Challenger.

John earned his BS in Physics from MIT and his PhD in Physics from the University of Chicago.  He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the National Space Club Engineer Award, the Komarov Diploma, and the Korolov Diploma. 

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