Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
Space Telescope Science Institute — STScI mission statement:
We bring the cosmos to Earth
We carry out this vision by empowering the astronomy community to produce new scientific discoveries and by bringing the benefits of this research to the public. We make the best astronomical facilities productive for the largest number of scientists, and we promote new missions with the greatest potential for unlocking the secrets of the universe.
We have done this with HST, and we will do the same for NGST. We have made the HST data readily accessible to the world, a model for archival scientific research, and we will continue to do so for new data holdings.
We will continue to develop innovative capabilities that empower the community. We will work in partnership with the astronomy community to promote new missions which enable new research. We will continue to conduct the science programs of the telescopes we operate in space, optimizing the science and ensuring the ultimate benefits in advancing science and engaging the public.
To implement this vision successfully, we must have a first rank astronomy research staff, which itself is engaged in forefront astronomical research, a first rank technical staff to develop and maintain the innovative systems essential to the missions, a first rank outreach staff to engage the public in the forefront intellectual questions of our time, and a first rank administrative staff to support the institute and the community.
Our basic mission is astronomy — to enable forefront scientific advances in astronomy that will change humankind’s view of its place in the universe. To carry out this mission, we are a partnership between science and technology, that is science led, science driven. We interpret this vision and summarize our goals in the context of our past accomplishments, our present activities, and our anticipation of the future.
Hubble is our first telescope. In 1990, it launched a new era of astronomical research from space with unprecedented capability, data quality, and data volume. We will optimize the science program of Hubble’s second ten years and continue to serve the community in its best scientific use of the facility.
NGST will be our second major telescope. Starting in this next decade, it will explore the universe at infrared wavelengths. We will help develop-then operate-the best NGST possible, with full inheritance of Hubble lessons-learned and full engagement of the community in its development.
Our archive has become a first-rank research facility in its own right, providing unique research and outreach opportunities. We will continue to run the best astronomical data archive in the world, adding new data sets, providing new research tools, and collaborating with other data centers to provide an international astronomy data system.
Our education and public outreach programs have engaged the public and made Hubble a household word. We will improve these programs, extend them to NGST and make them available to the rest of astronomy, assuring maximum benefit from the research enterprise to the public.
Our new technologies to improve Hubble operations have been applied beyond astronomy; we expect this trend to continue, increasing the benefit to society as a whole. We will continue to facilitate the transfer of our technical innovations to other fields of research and to the private sector.
Our approaches and solutions to technical, operational and procedural challenges have changed the way astronomy is done and have been adopted by observatories worldwide. We will continue to attract the best technical staff to advance and apply the state of the art for astronomy.
Our excellent astronomy and support staff has made us a first rank research institute. We will continue to attract excellent scientists and provide them with an academic environment that nourishes superlative research.
Finally, we recognize the importance of supporting and advancing all our missions – HST, NGST, the Archive, our Outreach programs – to enable our vision. We will continue to work with the community to investigate and advocate new missions, to enable forefront scientific advances and continue to change humankind’s view of its place in the universe.