Exploring the Cosmos


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Exploring the Cosmos
John Mace Grunsfeld, PhD
Space Telescope Science Institute
April 15, 2010

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  • We are born as explorers and scientists, challenged to understand how the world works even before we can talk (an to learn what’s ok to eat). New plan for NASA will help create the building blocks for all exploration while enabling the scientific discoveries that will shape our future. People discover things, robots or telescopes don’t.
  • Fundamental questions, this policy will help us to answer these and much more; Hubble as an example, Voyager, Cassini, Mars Rovers, SDO, Hubble (verbally list each and where it is, what is does, show only a couple of pictures), not just the USA but an international effort, science is the international language of peace.
  • Giving the earth a deep diagnostic health check
  • Hubble servicing robots don’t discover anything people do
  • With the discoveries from Kepler, Hubble, and what we will learn from James Webb Space Telescope, we will need a more capable telescope to be able to characterize earth like planets around nearby stars, and possibly determine the answer to the question: Are we alone!
  • Need capability to service and upgrade deep space facilities, either robotically or with people. This is a unique opportunity to develop the exploration architecture with the requirement to do forefront science, as we did with Hubble and the Space Shuttle.
  • The lessons that we teach in STEM come from NASA discoveries. Challenging our engineers and scientists to keep innovating and to be inspired to move our technology forward. Need a spectrum of opportunities and approaches to keep science and exploration moving forward, this policy supports just that. We are moving to depend on technology to solve our future challenges, in climate, in defense in economic priorities: but where will the scientists and engineers come from? I was inspired by Apollo, this generations is inspired by scientific discoveries and will be inspired by exploration feats that go well beyond Apollo and take us out into the cosmos.
  • Scientist, engineers, astronauts, best of the best. We take on impossible challenges and make them possible. Picture of ISS in background, then MCC Hubble and Hubble team, astronauts
  • Congress’ role in enabling exploration. 25 words or less, I’ll use 4
  • Exploring the Cosmos

    1. 1. Exploring the Cosmos John Mace Grunsfeld PhD Space Telescope Science Institute
    2. 2. Science is Exploration! Science attempts to answer fundamental questions about our planet, our solar system, our universe and ourselves.
    3. 3. We are born as explorers, as scientists Science is Exploration!
    4. 4. Science is Exploration! The NASA FY2011 budget supports the creation of the building blocks for all exploration while enabling the scientific discoveries that will shape our future.
    5. 5. Hubble Solar Dynamics Observatory NASA Science Rocks!
    6. 6. Science on the home planet: Earth Earth Science: It is critical that we gain a systems understanding of the Earth as a system. The FY2011 budget makes a substantial commitment to Earth and Climate Science commensurate with the importance of gathering new data and modeling to support policy decisions.
    7. 7. Where should we go? We should go to those compelling places that offer unique opportunities for expanding our knowledge and building our capabilities to explore. Low Earth Orbit, Lunar Surface, Deep Space, Near Earth Objects, Mars, Beyond?
    8. 8. Mars! But how do we get there?
    9. 9. Robotic precursors can precede human missions to all accessible targets Basic Reconnaissance Modular building blocks Many possibilities: multiple NEO rendezvous, in situ science, sample return, hazard mitigation demo
    10. 10. Apollo MER Opportunity Direct Human experience in space fundamentally alters our perspective
    11. 11. ~110 m Each Near Earth Object is a unique world to explore, and someday one may become hazardous to civilization Capsule ~15 m 540 m asteroid Itokawa (Hayabusa 2005, JAXA) ISS By exploring a NEO we extend our experience further from LEO, and demonstrate that we can make better decisions than the dinosaurs. A visit to a NEO would be a truly historic and significant event in human history!
    12. 12. Human/Robotic Partnership Astronaut rescuing Mars Rover Spirit from a tough spot.
    13. 13. Risk: We take great risks and engage in high performance challenges when the outcomes are significant.
    14. 14. Working in a Vacuum
    15. 15. Recent Hubble Science <ul><li>Galaxies when the universe was just 600 million years old: HUDF WFC3/IR </li></ul>Asteroid belt collision: P/2010 A2 First visible-light image of an extrasolar planet: Fomalhaut b
    16. 16. <ul><li>The James Webb Space Telescope </li></ul><ul><li>Deployable infrared telescope with 6.5 meter diameter segmented adjustable primary mirror </li></ul><ul><li>Cryogenic temperature telescope and instruments for infrared performance </li></ul><ul><li>Launch June 2014 on an ESA-supplied Ariane 5 rocket to Sun-Earth L2 </li></ul><ul><li>5-year science mission (10-year goal) </li></ul>First light Birth of stars and planets Planets and the origins of life The assembly of galaxies
    17. 17. “ Are We Alone?” Hubble Space Telescope (to same scale) 16-meter Space Telescope A large space telescope is required to detect life on exoplanets. Telescope folded in 10m fairing on Heavy Lift Booster. The signature of life is encoded in the spectrum of the Earth Water Oxygen Methane Optical Near-Infrared Thick Atmosphere
    18. 18. Space Servicing/Construction: Enabling Great Science Modular common systems
    19. 19. Inspiring Us All
    20. 20. The NASA Team
    21. 21. How to proceed?
    22. 22. Innovate Explore Discover Inspire For I dipped into the future, far as human eyes could see Saw the vision of the [new] world[s] and all the wonder that would be --Tennyson