Press Release

STScI: Science Writers Workshop, 15 November in Baltimore, Maryland

By SpaceRef Editor
October 17, 2007
Filed under ,

Though the Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990, NASA started planning two decades earlier by establishing, in 1970, committees to plan the engineering of the space telescope and to determine the scientific goals of the mission.

The year 2020 is 13 years away, but astronomers now need to start envisioning astrophysics that could be accomplished from space in the 2020 era and beyond. Lead times of at least a decade are required for the most ambitious of space observatories.

Large space telescopes, far dwarfing Hubble, will be feasible by 2020 because of NASA’s plan for building the huge Ares V rocket to return humans to the Moon by 2020.

Also, robotic servicing technologies may well enable the ability to construct, deploy, and upgrade complex astronomical facilities in space.

Large space-based telescopes will allow for breakthroughs in the search for habitable planets, seeing the details of the birth of planetary systems, exploring the primordial universe, tracing detailed evolution of galaxies over nearly the entire history of the universe, conducting the detailed investigation of dark energy and dark matter, and peering into the inflationary era when the universe was only a fraction of a second old.

This November 13-15 astronomers will be meeting at the “Astrophysics 2020: Large Space Missions Beyond the Next Decade” conference at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md. to discuss the space observatories and science investigations that could be realized in the 2020-2030 decade.

In conjunction with the Astrophysics 2020 conference, the STScI News Office will host a Science Writers Workshop on Thursday, November 15 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

The Science Writers Workshop speakers and discussion topics will be:

Richard Ellis (Caltech)
“Future Giant Telescopes: Evolution in Ground-Space Synergy”

Max Tegmark (MIT)
“Imaging Inflation with Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization”

Rachel Somerville (Max Planck Inst.)
“Cracking the Mystery of Galaxy and Black Hole Formation: A Theorist’s Wish-List for the Next Generation of Space Telescopes”

Harvey Tananbaum (CfA)
“The Next Large X-ray Mission: Constellation-X”

James Lloyd (Cornell Univ.)
“Extrasolar Planets: The Landscape in 2020”

The Science Writers Workshop will be held in the Board Room of the Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, Md. 21218.

Additional information about the conference is available at: .

Journalists will receive complimentary registration for the meeting and the Science Writers Workshop. If you are interested in attending the Astrophysics 2020 meeting and/or the Writer’s Workshop, please register before November 8 by sending an e-mail message to Cheryl Gundy ([email protected]) providing the following information:



Surface mail address:

Phone number:

Fax number:

Date of arrival:

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. The Space Telescope Science Institute conducts Hubble science operations. The institute is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., Washington.

SpaceRef staff editor.