New Baylor prof helping prepare NASA’s next major space telescope for launch
Whether or not you’re a space buff, you’ve probably seen some of the stunning images collected by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble has unlocked hidden corners of the universe — which makes the possibilities of NASA’s next flagship mission, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, all the more exciting.
Among the people helping to prepare that telescope for launch? One of Baylor’s newest professors.
Dr. Benjamin Rose joined the Baylor faculty in August as an assistant professor of physics. As he was preparing to move to Waco, he got the exciting news that he would serve as one of four project leaders for a team selected by NASA to prepare the Roman Telescope for launch, supported by $11 million in NASA funding.
What are they preparing? A tool, Rose says, that will dramatically build on past capabilities.
“The Roman telescope has the same depth and spatial resolution as Hubble, but can survey the sky at 1,000 times the rate of speed,” Rose says. “So, something that would take 1,000 months in the past would now require just one month of Roman operation. Its field of view is over 100 times that of Hubble, and unlike past projects, can operate continuously for constant observance.” (Click here to see a comparison of the Roman’s field of view compared to the Hubble’s.)
As NASA prepares for launch by 2027, Rose’s team — featuring more than 50 scientists from over a dozen universities — will work on a variety of infrastructure needs to effectively process, manage and distribute the vast amounts of data the telescope will generate.
Rose spent the last three years at Duke University as a research scientist, and his experience with space telescope research goes back further still. Before Duke, he served as a postdoctoral researcher at the Space Telescope Institute in Baltimore, which partners with NASA. He came to Baylor, he says, because, “Baylor is a place that still has a teaching focus alongside high-level research… I also appreciate that Baylor is a Christian university pursuing influence in the research space. It is carving out a unique niche in academia, and I’m excited to be a part of moving that forward.”
Sic ’em, Dr. Rose!