History and Timeline

We are the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. We help humanity explore the universe with advanced space telescopes and ever-growing data archives.

Founded in 1982, we have helped guide the most famous observatory in history, the Hubble Space Telescope.  Since its launch in 1990, we have performed the science operations for Hubble. We also lead the science and mission operations for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), planned to launch in 2021. We will perform parts of the science operations for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), in formulation for launch in the mid-2020s, and we are partners on several other NASA missions. Our staff conducts world-class scientific research; our Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) curates and disseminates data from over 20 astronomical missions; and we bring science to the world through internationally recognized news, education, and public outreach programs. We value our diverse workforce and civility in the workplace, and seek to be an example for others to follow.

Mission and Goals


We serve the science community and the public in their endeavors to explore and understand the universe.
We commit to fostering an environment of honesty, respect, inclusiveness, trust, and ethical behavior.
We build on our achievements by laying the foundations for the next generation of astronomy space missions.
We enable the extraordinary in our missions by leveraging the skills of our diverse staff.

Leadership and Staff

Photo of STScI's director, Ken Sembach
Meet Our Director
STScI's leadership meeting in a conference room
Meet Our Leadership
STScI staff photo in front of Muller Building
Meet Our Staff

About The Institute

Collage of artistic illustrations of several telescopes and the MAST logo on a starry background


Aerial image of Steven Muller building


Our Locations

Panoramic view of Baltimore


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