Pitt-Johnstown crowd hears from NASA alum about space exploration | Local News

JOHNSTOWN — Nakorria Dean stated she was mesmerized and starstruck by the presentation that former James Webb House Telescope program director Gregory Robinson gave Tuesday on the College of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in Richland Township.

“It was actually inspiring,” the Higher Johnstown Excessive College junior stated. “I’m so comfortable that he got here right here.”

Robinson served 33 years with the Nationwide Aeronautic House Administration and oversaw the event and 2021 launch of the Webb telescope, which NASA describes because the “premier space-based observatory of the following decade.”

He took over the challenge in 2018 and his job was to focus “on rising integration and testing effectivity and effectiveness, added further administration processes to make sure steady NASA visibility in contractor actions and mission success,” in line with NASA.

Robinson shared these experiences overseeing the Webb program with a sizeable viewers on the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Middle Tuesday, in addition to his “humble” beginnings in southern Virginia.

All through a roughly hour-long discuss, the NASA alum offered a snapshot of how the area telescope was constructed and why it’s necessary – noting there’s at the very least 10 new applied sciences that had been both invented for it or by no means flown earlier than.

He shared movies of the scientific devices meeting, testing and launch, whereas offering context for every section.

Robinson stated there have been many challenges within the Webb program, including that the satellite tv for pc took 20 years and 10,000 individuals around the globe to construct.

Nonetheless, he additionally acknowledged that “there’s nothing insurmountable if you wish to get it completed.”

Dean stated that listening to his presentation was inspiring, and was excited to be requested by one in every of her lecturers to attend.

The coed stated she loves area and is fascinated by the Webb telescope, so getting to listen to from the person who oversaw that scientific feat was a particular second.

“Watching him converse was so mesmerizing – a lot motivation,” Dean stated.

She was one in every of a number of college students who attended the occasion from Higher Johnstown, together with friends from Flood Metropolis Youth Health Academy.

A number of neighborhood members additionally packed the room, together with Susan and Tony Obarsky.

They secured seats just a few rows from the entrance and had been excited to listen to from Robinson.

Susan Obarsky stated it was fairly wonderful to have somebody of his caliber in Johnstown, and her husband agreed.

Tony Obarsky stated he’s curated an curiosity in area and science since childhood when the Apollo missions carried the primary human to the moon.

He additionally acquired a deal with when Johnstown native F. Don Freeburn spoke previous to Robinson.

Freeburn is a UPJ alum who labored at NASA as an engineer out of school and was assigned to the Apollo program within the mid-Nineteen Sixties.

He labored for the first propulsion department of the area flight endeavor.

Freeburn offered a photograph of human area flight and his involvement, detailing how the lunar module labored.

He additionally spoke about how influential UPJ was to his life.

Along with these audio system, viewers members additionally heard a recorded message from Pitt-Johnstown alumus Andrew Hovanec, who spoke about his time at NASA’s Goddard House Middle, the place he labored for 19 years, and his ideas on the Webb telescope.

Joshua Byers is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He will be reached at 814-532-5054. Comply with him on Twitter @Journo_Josh.


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