NASA Audio File

Veteran Astronaut And Hubble Repair Man Leaves NASA To Help Oversee Telescope’s Science Operations
NASA astronaut John Grunsfeld, who participated in three spaceflights to service the Hubble Space Telescope, is leaving the agency to become the deputy director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. The institute is the science operations center for Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope, which is planned for launch in 2014.

In addition to Grunsfeld's flights to Hubble (STS-103 in Dec. 1999, STS-109 in March 2002, and STS-125 in May 2009), he also served on two other shuttle missions. He performed eight critical spacewalks and logged more than 835 hours in space.

During 2003 and 2004, he was NASA's Chief Scientist at the agency's headquarters in Washington. He helped develop the Vision for Space Exploration, which set NASA on the path for future exploration endeavors.

JSC Center Contact: Nicole Cloutier-Lemasters, 281-483-5111
STSci Contact: Cheryl Gundy/Ray Villard, 410-338-4707/410-338-4514
HQ Contact: Katherine Trinidad, 202-358-1100

TRT: 1:58

John Grunsfeld
Former Chief Scientist and Hubble Repair Astronaut

CUT 1 (1:58) – Grunsfeld (From the final stage of Hubble repair during STS-125): “This is a really tremendous adventure that we’ve been on, a very challenging mission. Hubble isn’t just a satellite, it’s about humanities quest for knowledge. There are few people that are very special to Hubble that I’d like to thank, Lyman Spitzer and John Bacall, both deceased, but without whom we wouldn’t have the Hubble telescope or this amazing adventure. Others who are still with us, and are very productive scientists are Steve Beckwith and Mike Smith, Barbara Mikulski and Ed Weiler, without whom we wouldn’t have a Servicing Mission 4, and Mike Griffin; a tour de force of tools and human ingenuity. This mission in particular, as Arthur C. Clarke says, the only way of finding the limits of the possible is going beyond them into the impossible, and on this mission we tried some things that many people said were impossible…repairing ACS, achieving all the content that we had in this mission. We’ve achieved this and we wish Hubble the very best. It’s really a sign of the great country that we live in that we are able to do things like this on a marvelous space ship like space shuttle Atlantis. And I’m convinced that we can solve problems like repairing Hubble, getting to space, doing the servicing we do, traveling 17,500 miles per hour around the earth, that we can achieve other great things like solving our energy problems, and our climate problems, all things that are in the middle of NASA’s prime and core values.”
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