Europe-US Collaboration on the Hubble Space Telescope
May 17, 2017
Ferdinando Duccio Macchetto
Europe-US Collaboration on the Hubble Space Telescope

An Emeritus Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), Dr. Macchetto has spent his professional life working in space research and specifically on bilateral projects between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). He earned his doctorate in Physics from the University of Rome in 1965. His career began in 1968 when he was awarded the United Kingdom Royal Society fellowship. Working at England’s Culham Laboratory, he built and launched several rocket-borne ultraviolet astronomy payloads and designed the telescope and spectrograph flown in the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite, the first NASA-ESA collaboration in a space astronomy project. In 1973, he moved to the ESA’s technical center in Holland, becoming Project Scientist for ESA's participation in the IUE project. In 1975, Dr. Macchetto led the study defining ESA's participation in the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and became the ESA HST Project Scientist as well as Principal Investigator for the Faint Object Camera, the ESA instrument on board the HST. In 1983, he moved to the Space Telescope Science Institute whose 500-member staff is responsible for the mission operations and scientific utilization of the HST observatory. From 1983 to his retirement in 2010, he held several positions leading to that of the STSci’s Associate Director. Dr. Macchetto has earned numerous honors including the United States Presidential Award for Design Excellence for his contributions to the IUE observatory, NASA's Exceptional Scientific Medal for his role on the HST observatory, and the International Aeronautics and Astronautics Achievement Award, also for his contributions to the Hubble Space Telescope Observatory.