202

Nancy Grace Roman, involved with Hubble telescope, dies

FILE - In this April 25, 1990 file photo provided by NASA, most of the giant Hubble Space Telescope can be seen as it is suspended in space by Discovery's Remote Manipulator System (RMS) following the deployment of part of its solar panels and antennae. The Hubble Space Telescope has been sidelined by a pointing system failure. NASA announced Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, that one of Hubble’s gyroscopes shut down last Friday, Oct. 5. As a result, Hubble is in so-called safe mode, where it’s still orbiting all right but with non-essential systems turned off. That means all astronomy observations are on hold. (NASA via AP, File)

GERMANTOWN, Md. (AP) — Nancy Grace Roman, the first woman to hold an executive position at NASA and who helped with development of the Hubble Space Telescope, has died.

Laura Verreau, a cousin, confirmed Thursday that Roman died on Christmas Day after a prolonged illness. She was 93.

The NASA webpage said Roman was the first chief of astronomy in the office of space science at NASA headquarters and was the first woman to hold an executive position at the agency. She had direct oversight for the planning and development of astronomy-based programs including the Cosmic Background Explorer and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Roman retired from NASA in 1979. Throughout her career, she advocated for women and young people to become involved in science.

A memorial service is being planned.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.