Our Range of Services

The community missions office at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) supports science missions and technology development projects through data management, science systems engineering, science instrument support, peer review, observatory scheduling and planning, data science initiatives, and public outreach. Our partners have relied on our staff for one to all of the capabilities we outline below.


Peer Review

We support proposal submission, selection, and implementation for the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope. We are also available to provide support for astronomy mission proposal peer reviews for smaller community missions. Our services include:

  • Call for proposal announcements
  • Proposal receipt and verification
  • Full management of the entire Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC) process
  • Community notification of outcomes


Observatory Scheduling and Planning

We build and operate multi-constraint scheduling and planning tools for space- and ground-based observatories. We have a lead and supporting roles in telescope scheduling and the long-range observation planning process for the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. Learn more about the current missions we support.


Science Instrument Support

We have extensive experience with instrument mode development, ground testing, complex instrument calibration, data trending, data reduction software, and high-level science product creation tools. We optimize observatory efficiency and enhance science impact through careful design and implementation of end-to-end science operations systems. We also create and disseminate science user documentation and instrument simulation tools.


Data Management

We support all aspects of data management, from initial receipt and calibration of data from a space- or ground-based observatory to dissemination to the global research community through the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). We provide data management services for more than 20 astronomy missions and observatories. Examples of our work include:

  • Level 0-3 data processing software and pipelines
  • Complete data archive systems (from terabytes to petabytes)
  • Data-model and database design that uses optimized schemas and advanced stored procedures
  • Simple but powerful user interfaces
  • Data discovery and visualization tools


In addition, we offer support for applying data science methodologies (e.g., machine learning and modelling approaches) to astrophysical problems and developing advanced data processing systems, including:

  • Computing and data processing architectures
  • Algorithm/method selection
  • Technology evaluations


Discovered with the PanSTARRS telescope, this Comet is called PanSTARRS, C/2016 R2



Open Source Software 

We have expertise in developing open source/community-based software and are able to provide a range of services, including:

  • Designing successful, sustainable open source communities
  • Software evaluations, including license audits and project health checks

Public Outreach

STScI is a leader in astronomy communication and public outreach. Our astronomers and planetary scientists, education specialists, science writers, visualization and imaging specialists, designers, and web developers create tailored products and services that are designed to communicate missions’ scientific discoveries to a range of audiences. Our team members also create educational programming, host events, and develop interactive websites. We aim to serve NASA’s goals of bringing the universe within grasp and inspiring the next generations of explorers. Learn more about the public outreach initiatives we have for STScI.

Contact the Community Missions Office