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January 2024

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 The latest news from the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope Science Operations Center (SOC) at STScI 

The Wide Field Instrument (WFI) enters the Titan test chamber for Thermal Vacuum Testing at Ball Aerospace. See other press releases about Roman's "nervous system" and planned studies of rogue planetsdark energy, and supernovae.


First Phase of WFI Thermal Vacuum Testing Completed

The Wide Field Instrument (WFI) was fully assembled for the first time at Ball Aerospace in September. Soon after, the WFI entered the Titan test chamber, where it underwent the first Thermal Vacuum Testing Campaign (TVAC1) that lasted nearly two months. The WFI team presented a summary of the significant milestones achieved as a result of the testing campaign at the 9th Roman Community Forum. WFI is currently undergoing environmental testing and will begin the second TVAC testing campaign in Spring 2024. The SOC is currently ingesting data from TVAC1 and will use these data, together with data from TVAC2, to produce calibration reference files for initial on-orbit activities. 

Roman at AAS in New Orleans

Roman SOC staff will be attending the upcoming American Astronomical Society Meeting 243 in New Orleans, January 7-11, 2024. Highlights include a Roman Town Hall (Jan 11, 12:45 PM CT) and a splinter session on Science Drivers for Defining Roman's Core Community Surveys (Jan 10, 9:00 AM CT). Please visit the STScI booth to talk with SOC staff and learn more about the Roman mission. See Roman at AAS for more information on the schedule and events, including splinter sessions, talks, and several iPoster presentations.

Science Teams Funded by ROSES

On July 5, 2023, 30 proposals were selected for funding from 91 proposals received in response to a NASA ROSES solicitation (see abstracts PDF). These include Project Infrastructure Teams (PITs), Wide-Field Science (WFS) teams, and Coronagraph Community Participation (CCP) teams. These teams will work with the mission to ensure the scientific success of the Roman mission. 

Introducing the Roman User Documentation System

The Roman User Documentation System (RDox) website is now available. RDox has largely adopted the base infrastructure developed for the JWST Documentation system (JDox). RDox has been designed to maximize the accessibility of content and achieve flexibility in sharing information with the community. RDox now holds user-centered documentation for Simulation Tools and the Astronomer's Proposal Tool alongside early versions of the Data Handbook and of the Wide Field Instrument (WFI) Image Mode User Guide. RDox will be developed incrementally as the mission progresses towards launch with roughly twice-annual content deliveries timed with major Roman Community Engagement activities. 

The Astronomer's Proposal Tool for Roman

The Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT) is familiar to scientists who design and submit proposals for Hubble and JWST. APT version 2023.8 is a Roman-only version which allows for the design of General Investigator (GI) proposals with the Roman Wide Field Instrument (WFI). Roman APT has some significant differences from the Hubble and JWST versions. It includes a new hierarchy for designing large surveys, which Roman can conduct very efficiently with fast slews and a field of view which is 200 times bigger than Hubble's infrared camera. It also includes tools for designing mosaics and large region targets, and will eventually include Aladin for on-sky visualizations. The Roman APT Users Guide (RAUG) is available in the Roman Documentation System (RDox).

Introducing the SOC Roman Help Desk Portal

The Roman Help Desk at STScI has introduced a new web portal for the Roman community, mirroring the support structure for other flagship missions. This portal streamlines the process of directing inquiries to the appropriate groups for prompt assistance. We kindly ask users to transition to the new portal interface for submitting questions rather than via email. While email submissions will still be accepted, responses may not be as prompt as those through the portal. Users submitting questions via email will receive a reminder about the portal. The STScI Help Desk will continue to handle questions related to the Wide Field Instrument (WFI) design, WFI imaging mode, Roman science platform, Roman Archive, Roman imaging mode simulation tools, exposure time calculations, and the Astronomer’s Proposal Tool (APT) for WFI program design. For inquiries about the Roman proposal process, Coronagraph Instrument, WFI spectroscopy mode, Galactic Bulge Time Domain Survey, Roman exoplanet science, and grants, please contact the Roman Help Desk at IPAC through their portal or by emailing If you're uncertain where to send your questions, choose the most fitting option, and rest assured they will be directed to the correct place. 

Roman Science Conference Series

The SOC hosted the Roman Science conference on June 20-23, 2023. The conference focused on how emerging results from JWST are reshaping the scientific landscape and how this impacts the planning for both Roman’s community-defined Core Community Surveys and competed General Astrophysics Surveys. E-proceedings are available, as well as archived video via Panopto and YouTube. The next Roman Science conference, "How Roman Observations Will Confront Theory", will be hosted by the Roman Science Support Center (SSC) at IPAC on July 9-12, 2024.

View all Roman News at STScI > 


Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope insignia

The NASA Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope is managed by NASA/GSFC with participation of STScI, Caltech/IPAC, and NASA/JPL.

Contact the Roman Team