Roman spent much of his career helping to develop, fund and promote technology that would help scientists to see more clearly beyond the Earth's atmosphere.
"Astronomers wanted to get observations from the atmosphere for a long time. Looking through the atmosphere is something like looking at a piece of old-fashioned glass," Roman said America Voice in 2011. "The glass has defects in it, so the image is blurred by this."
NASA was credited with leading what he described as the "first astronomical mission of success" of the agency, the launch of the Solar Observatory Orbiting-1 in 1962 to measure the electromagnetic radiation of the sun, among other things.
He also co-ordinated scientists and engineers for the successful launch of geodetic satellites, used to measure and map the Earth and various astronomical observatories in orbit that offered an early vision of the discoveries that could be obtained through the shipment of the technology of observation beyond the veil of the atmosphere.
But perhaps it would be more associated with the first works of the Hubble Space Telescope, the first main telescope that was sent to the space in order to collect photos and data from the universe. Hubble is widely considered to have given rise to the most significant astronomical observations, since Galileo began to use a telescope at the beginning of the 16th century.
The design and launch of Hubble was full of scientific, financial and bureaucratic difficulties that Romà worked to solve. Hubble's lobby for advanced financing, whose $ 1,500 million dollar label recalled that all Americans, for the cost of a movie ticket, could secure years of scientific discoveries.
"During the 1960s and early 1970s there was no one in NASA that was more important to get the first designs and concepts for Hubble funded and completed," historian wrote space Robert Zimmerman The Universe in a mirror, a story about the creation of Hubble. "Even more important, it was [Dr. Roman] more than anyone who convinced the astronomical community to leave behind space astronomy. "
The telescope was not released until 1990, more than a decade after the Roman retreated, but when he did it, his photographs of the cosmos electrified the world.
In 1994, when NASA announced the repair of a defective mirror and other problems that had caused its first pictures to be blurry, Roman was auditioning, weaving.
Edward J. Weiler, the chief scientist of Hubble, was surprised to admit him publicly, according to Zimmerman's account. "If Lyman Spitzer was the father of the Hubble Space Telescope," Weiler said, referring to the observed astrophysicist, "then Nancy Roman was her mother."
Nancy Grace Roman was born in Nashville on May 16, 1925. His father was geophysical with the North American geological survey. Her mother was an old teacher of music and a nature enthusiast who took her daughter out at night to see the stars.
Roman, who remembered founding an 11-year-old astronomy club, moved frequently to his father's job before landing in Baltimore, where he graduated from high school. He graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania in 1946 and earned a doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1949, both in astronomy.
After his first studies at the University of Chicago and the Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin, he was hired by the Naval Research Laboratory in 1955, working in radio astronomy. NASA was formed three years later, with Romans among the first employees. He passed the final part of his professional career at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he oversaw the Astronomical Data Center.
His honors included the Women in Aerospace Lifetime Achievement Award and the award for the exceptional scientific achievement of NASA. He helped promote professional opportunities for women through the American Association of University Women and spoke frequently to schools to encourage children to face the challenges of science.
Dr. Roman resided in Chevy Chase, Martyland., At the time of his death and had no immediate survivors.
In 2017, Lego launched a game of figurines in honor of four pioneering women from NASA: Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel to space; Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in the space; Margaret Hamilton, a computer programmer who created the necessary software for the Apollo missions; and Dr. Roman
"I'm happy," he said once Science magazine, "I have ignored the many people who told me I could not be an astronomer."
The Washington Post
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