A graduate of the Patchogue-Medford Class of 1989, Libby Adelman has accomplished great success at the forefront of the aerospace industry for more than two decades. Libby is presently a systems engineer and manager at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center working on the highly advanced Nancy Roman Space Telescope and the critical Landsat-9 program for monitoring, understanding, and managing Earth’s natural resources.

Libby excelled in science and math while a student at South Ocean Middle School and Pat-Med High, and earned advanced degrees in the specialized field of thermofluid engineering from Columbia University.  She joined the Pratt & Whitney company in 1999 as one of the relatively small number of female engineers ina field that, at the time, was still overwhelmingly dominated by men. By 2007 she was at Goddard assigned to some of NASA’s most important projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope and its successors, the James Webb Telescope, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, and the Roman Space Telescope. 

Named for the first female executive in NASA’s history, the Nancy Roman Space Telescope is due to launch in 2027. In space it will have a field of view 100 times the size of Webb’s and will cover 50 times more sky than the Hubble Telescope was able to see in its 30 years of life.  So, whenever you marvel at all the amazing images collected by Hubble and those even more fantastic views now being seen by Webb, know that Libby Adelman will be playing a key role in helping humankind accumulate the next decades’ worth of even greater images. While it is no longer unusual to find women playing advanced technical and leadership roles at NASA, it is no exaggeration to say that Libby Adelman has surely been one of the trailblazers.