Hubble drifts over Earth after its release on May 19, 2009 by the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis (left) and an Artist’s illustration of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (right). Image credit: NASA
STScI has developed and executed the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope since its launch in 1990. Hubble continues to revolutionize astronomy and expand our knowledge of the Universe. More than 15,000 astronomers worldwide have used Hubble and published Hubble results in >14,000 refereed scientific papers, representing more than 15% of all astronomy papers each year. Hubble has accounted for 1.6% of the world’s scientific return across all science fields since 1990.
STScI is developing new technologies for science and flight operations for NASA’s next flagship, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST will maintain US leadership in space science and peer 100 times deeper into the universe than Hubble. STScI is also developing science operations for NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), set to launch in the mid 2020s. WFIRST will have 100 times the field of view of Hubble. Looking forward, STScI is studying advanced space telescope concepts for future large missions in the 2030s and beyond, in a quest to answer the question: “Are we alone?”