The James Webb Space Telescope – From Concept to Commissioning

F. Richard Myers is NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Ground Segment and Operations Lead for Northrop Grumman. In this talk, Richard shares his experiences working on the most powerful space telescope ever built, from concept design, to development, to testing, and finally to the execution of the mission itself.

Launched on Christmas Day 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope is NASA’s most audacious space program in decades.  As the most powerful space telescope ever built, it promises to continue the legacy of the Great Observatory campaign and revolutionize humanity’s understanding of the Universe and our place in it.

Myers received degrees from the University of Rochester in Physics and Astronomy in 1998.  He went into industry with Lockheed Martin and spent three years working naval Ballistic Missile Defense programs before transitioning to his dream career with Northrop Grumman (then TRW) in 2001, joining NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory Flight Operations Team.  At the Harvard-Smithsonian based mission control center in Cambridge MA, he held the multiple spacecraft subsystem engineering positions and performed as the Flight Software Maintenance Facility manager.  In 2009 he transitioned to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt MD to join the James Webb Space Telescope program.

In his time on the JWST program, Myers has held a variety of roles that have evolved as the mission progressed from early operations concept design, to development, to testing, to building teams, and finally to the execution of the mission.  He led the Ground Segment end-to-end validation campaign and served as Mission Systems Engineer during commissioning.  Ultimately his core responsibility was to ensure that the components involved in the launch, commissioning, and normal operations of the Observatory would be successful from the system level, including the interaction between the Observatory, various ground systems, interfaces, command sequences, and personnel.

Among a number of achievements, Myers was awarded the James Webb Space Telescope Award for Outstanding Achievement and the NASA Robert H Goddard Award. A Connecticut native, he currently lives in Washington DC. He is married with one daughter, and enjoys playing volleyball and other sports in his spare time.

Capacity is limited, be sure to reserve your free tickets below

Date:
Oct 9, 2022
Time:
02:00 PM
- 03:30 PM
Venue:
MIT Museum: The Lee Family Exchange
Location:
MIT Museum, Gambrill Center, 314 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02142
Presented By:

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Cambridge Science Festival, the first of its kind in the United States, is a madcap celebration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). A multifaceted, multicultural event, the Festival makes science accessible, interactive, and fun, highlighting the impact of STEAM in all our lives.

The Cambridge Science Festival was founded by and is produced by the MIT Museum.