News Releases

NASA Scientist David S. Leckrone to Discuss "The Hubble: A New Beginning," Oct. 13
Rob Gutro / Michelle Jones
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Release No. 09-071

GREENBELT, Md. -- For more than 19 years, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope—one of the celebrated scientific instruments of our time—has revolutionized our understanding of the universe and how it works.

David S. Leckrone, just-retired senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope Program at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. will present "The Hubble Space Telescope: A New Beginning" at the Library of Congress at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13, in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington.

The illustrated lecture, the fifth in a series of programs in 2009, is presented through a partnership between the Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division and NASA Goddard. The lecture is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

Leckrone has provided scientific leadership for all aspects of the Hubble program, including program management, spacecraft and science operations, development of new scientific instruments and in-orbit servicing. In his lecture he will give an overview of the dramatic May 2009 servicing mission to Hubble and will describe the intriguing new observations made possible by the repaired spacecraft.

Fundamental to the success of the Hubble has been its ability to be maintained, repaired and upgraded on a regular basis by Space Shuttle astronauts. Five such servicing missions have now been completed. Each has left the Hubble renewed and capable of operating at the technological cutting edge. The most recent servicing mission has left the telescope at the apex of its capabilities, far more powerful than it has ever been before.

Leckrone received a bachelor’s in physics from Purdue University and a master’s and Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California at Los Angeles. He has worked at Goddard since 1969 and on the Hubble since 1976. As a research scientist, Leckrone is an internationally recognized authority on the abundances of the chemical elements in stars. Earlier this year, Leckrone was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency bestows.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with nearly 142 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. As the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site, in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill, and through its award-winning website at Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. Goddard manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute conducts Hubble science operations. The institute is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Inc. in Washington, and is an International Year of Astronomy 2009 program partner.

For more information about this event, please contact Donna Urschel at the Library of Congress at 202-707-1639 or, or NASA Goddard at 301-614-6627.

For information about the Hubble Space Telescope, visit: