Nancy Grace Roman, known as the "mother" of the Hubble Space Telescope and the first woman to run an executive position at NASA, died on Christmas Day.
A cousin, Laura Verro, confirmed that Rome died after prolonged illness. She was 93 years old.
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As the first head of astronomy at the space science office at NASA headquarters, Roman oversaw the planning and development of programs such as the space explorer and the Hubble Space Telescope, according to NASA.
"In the 1960s and early 1970s there was no one in NASA that was more important in obtaining the first designs and concepts for financing and completing Hubble," the book's "Universe in the Mirror", space historian Robert Zimmermann told Hubble, according to the Washington Post. "More importantly, it was [Dr. Roman] more than anyone who convinced the astronomical community to stand behind space astronomy. "
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Roman received a doctorate. in astronomy from the University of Chicago in 1949 and joined NASA in 1959. She completed her Nasa career at the Goddard Space Flight Center, where she served as the manager of the Center for Astronomical Data.
After retiring from NASA in 1979, Roman continued to work as a Goddard performer. During her career, she advocated women and young people to engage in science.
In 2017, Lego announced a set of figurines in honor of NASA's four pioneer women, one of which is Rome.
"I'm glad," she told the magazine "Science" once, "I ignored the many people who told me I could not be an astronomer."
A memorial service is planned.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.