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James Webb Space Telescope
STScI Appoints New JWST Mission Head

STScI Appoints New Mission Head for the James Webb Space Telescope

Kathy Flanagan

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) has appointed Dr. Kathryn Flanagan as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Mission Head. Dr. Flanagan will be responsible for the development and operations of the JWST Science and Operations Center at the STScI. The largest space observatory ever developed, the JWST is scheduled for launch in June 2013.

Dr. Flanagan is currently Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.

Dr. Flanagan brings an extensive experience in space mission development and instrument engineering. She has worked on three NASA flight instruments, and was responsible for the ground calibration of the High Energy Transmission Gratings, one of the instruments onboard the Chandra X-ray Observatory. During her association with Chandra she worked with Northrop Grumman Space Technology, NASA's prime contractor building JWST. She is now leading a team developing new spectrometers for the Constellation-X mission, while continuing as an active member of the Chandra gratings team.

"JWST is a leap forward in our ability to study the universe. The mission is a challenge both scientifically and technically. I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the JWST Mission Office at STScI as my background and involvement in NASA Great Observatories provides a bridge to a broader community."

Dr. Flanagan has worked closely with NASA Headquarters and has co-chaired two NASA strategic planning documents, the 2005 NASA roadmap for Universe Exploration and the 2006 NASA Astrophysics Division Roadmap, /Science Program for NASA's Astronomy and Physics Division/. Dr Flanagan also served on the JWST Science Assessment Team that reviewed and prioritized Webb's science capabilities in 2005.

"We are very much looking forward to Kathy joining the STScI and JWST Team. She brings to this leadership role extensive space science experience, spanning both hardware and space observatory programmatics," said STScI Director Matt Mountain. Dr. Flanagan joins STScI in September.