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Kathryn Flanagan

Head of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Mission Office
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
Country of origin: USA

Photo of Kathryn FlanaganWhat I do.
I am responsible for the development and operations of the Science and Operations Center for the James Webb Space Telescope. This is a NASA mission that is scheduled to launch early in the next decade. It will detect the first galaxies to form in the universe, earning it the nickname "The First Light Machine." With this observatory, astronomers throughout the world will learn how stars are born and how galaxies evolve, and will examine the properties of planetary systems.

What I find exciting.
I work with a huge group of very talented and dedicated individuals who are passionate about the success of this mission. It is exciting to be part of this, and to know that what we do now will matter for years to come. I am looking forward to the first images of the earliest galaxies.

What I wish someone had told me.
I wish I had known that nobody in my career path ever feels like an expert. It's a good thing I love learning, because I have a lot of it ahead of me.