September 28, 2009 Scientist David S. Leckrone to Discuss "The Hubble Space Telescope: A New Beginning," Oct. 13

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Science, Technology and Business Division (202) 707-5664; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (301) 614-6627

For more than 19 years, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope—one of the celebrated scientific instruments of our time—has revolutionized our understanding of the universe and how it works.

David S. Leckrone, just-retired senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope Program, will present “The Hubble Space Telescope: A New Beginning” at the Library of Congress at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13, in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The illustrated lecture, the fifth in a series of programs in 2009, is presented through a partnership between the Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The lecture is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

Leckrone has provided scientific leadership for all aspects of the Hubble program, including program management, spacecraft and science operations, development of new scientific instruments and in-orbit servicing. In his lecture he will give an overview of the dramatic May 2009 servicing mission to Hubble and will describe the intriguing new observations made possible by the repaired spacecraft.

Fundamental to the success of the Hubble has been its ability to be maintained, repaired and upgraded on a regular basis by Space Shuttle astronauts. Five such servicing missions have now been completed. Each has left the Hubble renewed and capable of operating at the technological cutting edge. The most recent servicing mission has left the telescope at the apex of its capabilities, far more powerful than it has ever been before.

Leckrone received a bachelor’s in physics from Purdue University and a master’s and Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California at Los Angeles. He has worked at Goddard since 1969 and on the Hubble since 1976. As a research scientist, Leckrone is an internationally recognized authority on the abundances of the chemical elements in stars. Earlier this year, Leckrone was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency bestows.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with nearly 142 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. As the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site, in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill, and through its award-winning website at Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at


PR 09-189
ISSN 0731-3527