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    • By NASA
      Rebekah Hounsell is an assistant research scientist working on ways to optimize and build infrastructure for future observations made by the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. The mission will shed light on many astrophysics topics, like dark energy, which are currently shrouded in mystery. Rebekah also works as a support scientist for the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) mission, helping scientists access and analyze data.
      Name: Rebekah Hounsell
      Title: Assistant Research Scientist
      Formal Job Classification: Support Scientist for the TESS mission and Co-Principal Investigator of the Roman Supernova Project Infrastructure Team (PIT)
      Organization: Code 667.0
      Rebekah Hounsell knew she wanted to study space from a very young age. Now, she’s a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. NASA/Chris Gunn What do you do and what is most interesting about your role at Goddard?
      I am fortunate to have several roles at Goddard. I am a support scientist for TESS. Here I aid the community in accessing and analyzing TESS data. I am a co-principal investigator of a Roman project infrastructure team, focusing on building infrastructure to support supernova cosmology with the Roman HLTDS (High Latitude Time-Domain Survey). In addition, I am part of the Physics of the Cosmos program analysis group executive committee, co-chairing both the Cosmic Structure Science interest group and the Time-Domain and Multi-Messenger Astrophysics Science interest group. In these roles I have been fortunate enough to get a glimpse into how missions such as TESS and Roman work and how we can make them a success for the community. Missions like TESS are paving the way for future wide area surveys like Roman, providing a plethora of high cadence transient and variable star data, which can be used to gain a better understanding of our universe and our place within it.
      How will your current work influence the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope’s future observations?
      The Roman team I am leading is tasked with developing a pixels-to-cosmology pipeline for the analysis of supernova data from the HLTDS. What this means is that we will develop tools to aid the community in obtaining supernova lightcurves and prism spectra, which are precise enough to be used in testing various cosmological modes. We are also working to develop tools which will allow the community to test various HLTDS designs, adjusting cadence, filters, exposure times, etc., to best optimize its output for their science.
      What got you interested in astrophysics? What was your path to your current role?
      When I was a child I lived in a very rural area in England, with little to no light pollution. I had a wonderful view of the night sky and was fascinated by stars. I remember when I found out that the universe was expanding and my first thought was “into what?” I think it was that which fueled my curiosity about space and pushed me into astrophysics. At about 10 years old, I decided astrophysics was the path for me, and after that I really started to focus on physics and math at school.
      At 18, 19 I went to Liverpool University/Liverpool John Moores and completed my master’s in astrophysics in 2008. I then went on to obtain my Ph.D., focusing on classical and recurrent novae. In 2012 I received my first postdoc at STScI (the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore). It was at STScI that I learned about how the instruments operating on Hubble worked and figured out that what I really loved doing was working on data and improving it. At the time however, I wasn’t ready to leave academia altogether, so I took another postdoc at the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana/UC Santa Cruz. It was here that I first started working on Roman, only back then it was known as WFIRST. I was a member of a Supernova Science Investigation Team for WFIRST and worked to optimize the design of what was then known as the SN survey, later to become the HLTDS. During this time I published a paper that created some of the most realistic simulations of the survey, including various statistical and systematic effects. After this I headed to the University of Pennsylvania to work on core collapse supernovae from the Dark Energy Survey. This was an exciting data set, but again I realized what I really liked doing was working on data from or for a mission. As such I took my current job at NASA.
      Rebekah stands by a model of NASA’s upcoming Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. The observatory’s deployable aperture cover, or sun shade, is visible in the background in the largest clean room at Goddard.NASA/David Friedlander What are you most looking forward to exploring through Roman’s eyes?
      Given the nature of the mission, Roman is going to discover a plethora of transient events. Some of these will be extremely rare and if caught in one of Roman’s high cadenced, deep fields, the data obtained will be able to shed new light on the physics driving these phenomena. I am also excited about these data being used with those from other observatories including the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.
      What has surprised you the most about the universe as you’ve learned more about it?
      We are still discovering so many new things which shed new light on the universe, its evolution, and our place in it. In recent years we have learned about kilonovae, gravitational waves, and we’ve discovered various diverse supernovae. There are so many extreme and complex events that we are still trying to understand, and I suspect that Roman will reveal even more.
      What is your favorite thing about working for NASA?
      There is no one path to working at NASA. I have met so many people who entered into the field following completely different paths than myself. I love this. We all have something different to bring to the table and those differences are what makes NASA what it is today.
      A portrait of Rebekah in front of the NASA meatball.NASA/David Friedlander What hobbies fill your time outside of work?
      I like to paint and draw. I also enjoy looking after animals. I also love participating in outreach events. When I lived in Philly I helped to set up the Astronomy on Tap branch there. I think it is important to talk about what we do and why it is needed.
      What advice do you have for others who are interested in working in astronomy?
      There is no one path. Don’t think you have to complete x, y, z steps and then you make it. That is not true. Do what you are passionate about, what you enjoy to learn about. And most importantly ask questions! Learn about what others are doing in the field, how they got there, and figure out what works for you.
      By Ashley Balzer
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
      Conversations With Goddard is a collection of Q&A profiles highlighting the breadth and depth of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s talented and diverse workforce. The Conversations have been published twice a month on average since May 2011. Read past editions on Goddard’s “Our People” webpage.
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      Last Updated Jul 16, 2024 ContactAshley Balzerashley.m.balzer@nasa.govLocationGoddard Space Flight Center Related Terms
      People of NASA Careers Goddard Space Flight Center Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope People of Goddard Women at NASA Explore More
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      Article 6 months ago 8 min read Melissa Vess: Triathlete and Roman Spacecraft Systems Engineer
      Article 3 years ago View the full article
    • By NASA
      “We have a group photo of my first project here, ASTRO-H, and that one means a lot to me because I came [to that NASA project] fresh off the street. I was super scared and intimidated. It was me and three other [technicians], who were also all new, and a handful of very seasoned scientists and engineers. And we came together.
      “And we actually came in — I believe — under budget, ahead of schedule, and exceeded all expectations for our test results. That’s kind of unheard of, you know what I mean? We had such a good environment in the lab. Everybody got along so well. It was all teamwork. And everything just gelled.
      “So when I look back on that photo from 14 years ago, first of all, I look really young in it. And secondly, it makes me realize how blessed and lucky I’ve been to be here for so long. It reminds me of that guy who was really nervous and still did alright. [It reminds me] to have a little confidence in myself, just be me, and do the work. It’ll all work out.
      “I love looking back at that first team photo and just remembering how raw everything was at the time and how well it still came out.”
      —Clifton Brown, Engineering Technician, OMES III, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
      Image Credit: NASA/Thalia Patrinos
      Interviewer: NASA/Thalia Patrinos
      Check out some of our other Faces of NASA. 
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      3 min read
      NASA Mission to Study Mysteries in the Origin of Solar Radio Waves
      NASA’s CubeSat Radio Interferometry Experiment, or CURIE, is scheduled to launch July 9, 2024, to investigate the unresolved origins of radio waves coming from the Sun.
      CURIE will investigate where solar radio waves originate in coronal mass ejections, like this one seen in 304- and 171-angstrom wavelengths by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientists first noticed these radio waves decades ago, and over the years they’ve determined the radio waves come from solar flares and giant eruptions on the Sun called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, which are a key driver of space weather that can impact satellite communications and technology at Earth. But no one knows where the radio waves originate within a CME.
      The CURIE mission aims to advance our understanding using a technique called low frequency radio interferometry, which has never been used in space before. This technique relies on CURIE’s two independent spacecraft — together no bigger than a shoebox — that will orbit Earth about two miles apart. This separation allows CURIE’s instruments to measure tiny differences in the arrival time of radio waves, which enables them to determine exactly where the radio waves came from.
      “This is a very ambitious and very exciting mission,” said Principal Investigator David Sundkvist, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. “This is the first time that someone is ever flying a radio interferometer in space in a controlled way, and so it’s a pathfinder for radio astronomy in general.”
      CURIE team members work on integrating the satellites into the CubeSat deployer. ExoLaunch The spacecraft, designed by a team from UC Berkeley, will measure radio waves ranging 0.1 to 19 megahertz to pinpoint the radio waves’ solar origin. These wavelengths are blocked by Earth’s upper atmosphere, so this research can only be done from space.
      CURIE will launch aboard an ESA (European Space Agency) Ariane 6 rocket in early July from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. The rocket will take CURIE to 360 miles above Earth’s surface, where it can get a clear view of the Sun’s radio waves.
      Once in its circular orbit, the two adjoined CURIE spacecraft will establish communication with ground stations before orienting and separating. When the separated satellites are in formation, their dual eight-foot antennas will deploy and start collecting data.
      CURIE is sponsored by NASA’s Heliophysics Flight Opportunities for Research and Technology (H-FORT) Program and is the sole mission manifested on the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative’s ELaNa (Educational Launch of Nanosatellites) 43 mission. As a pathfinder, CURIE will demonstrate a proof-of-concept for space-based radio interferometry in the CubeSat form factor. CURIE will also pave the way for the upcoming Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment, or SunRISE, mission. SunRISE will employ six CubeSats to map the region where the solar radio waves originate in 2-D.
      By Mara Johnson-Groh
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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      Last Updated Jul 08, 2024 Editor Abbey Interrante Related Terms
      CubeSat Launch Initiative CubeSats ELaNa (Educational Launch of Nanosatellites) Goddard Space Flight Center Heliophysics Heliophysics Division Heliophysics Research Program Science Mission Directorate Small Satellite Missions SunRISE (Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment) The Sun The Sun & Solar Physics Explore More
      5 min read First of NASA’s SunRISE SmallSats Rolls Off Production Line
      Six of these small satellites will work together, creating the largest radio telescope ever launched…


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    • By European Space Agency
      Video: 00:04:07 Clouds are one of the biggest mysteries in the climate system. They play a key role in the regulating the temperature of our atmosphere. But we don’t know how their behaviour will change over time as Earth’s atmosphere gets warmer. This is where EarthCARE comes in.
      Launching on 28 May 2024, ESA’s Earth Cloud, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer will help quantify the role that clouds and aerosols play in heating and cooling Earth’s atmosphere. With its suite of four cutting-edge instruments, EarthCARE is a groundbreaking advancement in satellite technology.
      It promises to deliver unprecedented data – unravelling the complexities of both clouds and aerosols. With this, we can refine our atmospheric models and climate forecasts, giving us the tools to tackle the challenges of a changing climate with greater accuracy and precision.
      Watch EarthCARE launch live on ESA WebTV or ESA YouTube. For more information on how to stream the launch, click here.
      View the full article
    • By USH
      As we delve into the mysteries surrounding unidentified flying objects (UFOs), Dr. Steven Greer sheds light on the concealed truths that lie within the shadows of secrecy. Back in October 1954, a groundbreaking discovery took place, unbeknownst to the public eye. Despite skepticism from contemporary engineers, classified documents revealed humanity's mastery of gravity control, a feat achieved through a deeply classified project. 

      Imagine, in 1954, humanity had already unlocked the secrets of gravity—a revelation still deemed far-fetched by modern science. Yet, this monumental achievement was shrouded in secrecy. Why did we opt for conventional highways over futuristic skyways after attaining such groundbreaking technology? What does this say about the hidden agendas of our governments and the potential evolution of our world? 
      The secrecy surrounding UFO technology stems from its revolutionary nature. These objects defy conventional propulsion systems; they operate without jets, rockets, or nuclear power plants, emitting no discernible heat signature. Instead, they harness a new physics—electromagnetic propulsion, reminiscent of Nikola Tesla's discoveries in the early 20th century. 
      Revealing such advanced technologies would disrupt established economic systems, rendering traditional energy sources obsolete and transforming our world into one powered by clean, free energy from the Zero Point Energy field. While this prospect promises an end to pollution and poverty within two decades, it threatens the status quo upheld by vested interests worth trillions of dollars. 
      Furthermore, the narrative surrounding UFOs has been manipulated to instill fear in the public, paving the way for centralized control under the guise of protecting against a common extraterrestrial threat. However, Dr. Greer exposes these fabrications, highlighting the psychological toll of harboring monumental secrets and questioning the true motivations behind keeping transformative technologies under wraps. 
      Contrary to popular belief, advanced extraterrestrial civilizations have shown concern for humanity's well-being, as evidenced by their intervention to prevent nuclear catastrophe. Rather than hostile intentions, their actions suggest a desire for peaceful coexistence within a broader cosmic community. 
      Dr. Greer's efforts to disclose the truth to the highest levels of government mark a pivotal moment in human history. Yet, skepticism and controversy surround this journey towards disclosure. As we on the brink of major revelations, it becomes imperative to navigate the balance between skepticism and undeniable evidence, preparing ourselves for the potential revelation of extraterrestrial life and technology.
        View the full article
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