Community Missions Office

Alberto Conti,

The Institute has gained expertise from operating Hubble, building the Multimission Archive at Space Telescope (MAST) archive, and preparing for the science and mission operations of the James Webb Space Telescope. The Community Missions Office (CMO) is the focal point for bringing the benefits of this experience to other missions and projects. In this role, CMO facilitates the Institute’s involvement in new initiatives and coordinates between mission teams and Institute personnel. It offers support for other missions in the areas of science operations, data curation and analysis, calls for proposals, peer reviews, grant administration, and education and outreach. In this way, CMO strives to adapt the Institute’s tools and services to the widest possible variety of space-science missions and ground-based observatories.

Recent CMO activities include:


CMO manages the Data Management Center (DMC) for Kepler, a NASA mission searching for the signals of Earthlike planets transiting their host stars. The Institute built the DMC software before the Kepler launch in March 2009. The DMC performs the initial processing of Kepler data, performing a range of tasks from calibration to data retrieval and distribution to the user community. In collaboration with the Kepler Science Analysis Center at the NASA Ames Research Center, the DMC assembles the science data for release through the Kepler archive. Eventually, the Kepler archive and data products will be stored permanently in MAST.


In addition to overseeing MAST itself, CMO oversees MAST’s education and public outreach project. This project is a coordinated effort with the Astrophysics Data System and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center. The primary goal is to provide Hubble press release data in a form that is searchable, retrievable, and usable through MAST. The challenge is to capture the quality imagery from the press releases and to supplement it with ancillary data, so that the users can locate press releases by object, coordinate, or keyword. The imagery will then be retrievable through simple interfaces for use by educators, students, and the general public.