Nancy Grace Roman, the first female NASA executive who helped develop the Hubble Space Telescope, passed away on Christmas Day.
Laura Verreau, a cousin of the deceased, confirmed her death on Thursday. Mrs. Roman died at the age of 93, after a long illness.
According to NASA’s website, Nancy Grace Roman was the first space astronomy chief at NASA’s headquarters, and the first woman to hold leadership positions at the US agency.
She was directly responsible for the planning and development of astronomy-based programs, including the creation of the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite and the Hubble Space Telescope.
Following her departure from NASA, Nancy Grace Roman continued to work until 1997 in connection with the Goddard Space Flight Center, the scientific research center of the agency devoted to the observation of the earth, astronomy and the study of the sun.
An asteroid discovered in 1964 by NASA was named Roman in honor of the astronomer. She has also received numerous awards, recognizing her unwavering motivation to pursue a career in astronomy, where she has held responsibilities against the advice of her own entourage.
Ms. Roman retired from NASA in 1979. Throughout her life, she advocated for women and youth to pursue careers in science.