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Space Telescope Science Institute

Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

We are the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope. Our work spans the lifecycle of a scientific proposal for Hubble observations, which we have performed since its launch in 1990. We help turn great science ideas into great science, highlight the results, and distribute the data acquired for others to use. Our work includes running the peer-reviewed science program selection, planning and scheduling of the telescope, characterizing the performance of the instruments, maintaining and enhancing the archive of data, and making the data freely available to the world.

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James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

As the flight and science operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope, we will enable the astronomical community to transform ideas into scientific discoveries and help them obtain the best science. We develop and maintain software for the operations center as well as for astronomers using JWST. Leading up to launch, we are supporting development and testing of the observatory. After launch, we will operate the observatory and maintain its systems and its orbit. During science operations, we solicit proposals to use the telescope, schedule observations, provide calibrated scientific data, and curate a data archive that is open to astronomers and the public.

Kepler & Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

Launched in 2009, the Kepler Mission is surveying a region of our galaxy to determine what fraction of stars in our galaxy have planets and measure the size distribution of those exoplanets. We host the Kepler Mission’s data management center, which is available to the public through Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes. Although Kepler completed its primary mission to determine the fraction of stars that have planets in 2013, it is continuing the search, using a more limited survey mode, under the new name K2.

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is an Explorer-class mission scheduled for launch in the spring of 2018. TESS will survey approximately 500,000 of the nearest and brightest stars to search for exoplanets, ranging from Earth-sized rocky worlds to gas giants. TESS will find numerous exoplanets, including some of the most promising that will be targeted for detailed observations with JWST. We are currently developing the TESS archive ground-system, which will be available to the public.

Wide Field Infra-Red Survey Telescope (WFIRST)

STScI is one of the Science Operations Centers for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). This mission, in formulation for launch in the mid-2020s, will revolutionize our understanding of dark energy, extra-solar planets, and many topics in general astrophysics by combining dedicated surveys, as well as guest observer and guest investigator programs. STScI will schedule and archive all WFIRST observations, and will calibrate and produce pipeline-reduced data products for the Wide Field Instrument (WFI).

Large UV/Optical/Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR)

The Large UV/Optical/Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR) observatory is a concept for a nine- to 15-meter class space telescope that will enable great leaps in our understanding of our cosmic origins and will provide our first precise constraints on the frequency of habitable zone planets that exhibit signs of surface life. LUVOIR will advance knowledge in broad areas of astrophysics, including the epoch of re-ionization, galaxy assembly and evolution, star and planet formation, and the workings of the outer Solar System. STScI has staff members on the LUVOIR science and technology definition team.

Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST)

AURA Report: From Cosmic Birth to Living Earths

Large UV/Optical/IR Surveyor (LUVOIR)


World-class staff performing cutting-edge astronomical research

Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) Data and science products for over 20 missions
Russell B. Makidon Optics Laboratory State-of-the-art facility that includes the JWST Optical Simulation Testbed (JOST) and the High-Contrast Imager for Complex Aperture Telescopes (HiCAT)
Communications and Public Outreach Premier science communications center

Space Telescope Science Institute • 3700 San Martin Drive • Baltimore, MD 21218 410-338-4700 •