Celebrate Hubble's 30th anniversary with astronauts, astrophysicists & gamers with 'Virtual Astronomy Live'

The Hubble Space Telescope as seen from the space shuttle Discovery during the second servicing mission in 1997.
The Hubble Space Telescope as seen from the space shuttle Discovery during the second servicing mission in 1997. (Image credit: NASA/STScI)

NEW YORK — To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the launch of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is bringing together a group of astronauts and astrophysicists to talk about the iconic observatory in the first-ever "Virtual Astronomy Live" webcast today (April 24). The free, 90-minute webcast begins at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), and you can watch it live here

Three retired NASA astronauts and space shuttle veterans will participate in the discussion, including former NASA administrator Charles Bolden, astronaut-turned-artist Nicole Stott and Hubble repairman Mike Massimino, who flew on two Hubble servicing missions in 2002 and 2009. 

Also joining the group will be three astrophysicists and science communicators, including Frank Summers, a visualization scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Summer Ash, a rocket scientist, radio astronomer and freelance science writer will moderate the discussion, and John "Das" Galloway, creator of the Kerbal Space Academy game platform, will host the event. 

Related: The best Hubble Space Telescope images of all time!

During the webcast, these scientists and astronauts will look back at some of the biggest moments of Hubble's 30 years in orbit and discuss NASA's next flagship space observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope

The astronauts will also offer their perspectives on "the parallels between isolation in space and the conditions many are experiencing during the current pandemic," the Intrepid museum said in a statement. 

At some point during the event, the speakers will be answering questions live through an interactive Q&A. Viewers can submit questions via Twitch

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.


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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.