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Steven Alan Hawley

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Physics and Astronomy
Emeritus Professor
Primary office:
4091 Malott Hall


1978 - 2008 Astronaut and senior manager at NASA; 2008 Professor Physics and Astronomy, University of Kansas; 2010 Director of Engineering Physics, University of Kansas; 2012 Adjunct Professor Aerospace Engineering, University of Kansas


Ph.D., Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz

B.A., Astronomy, University of Kansas

B.A., Physics, University of Kansas


My research interests are in two distinct disciplines. In astronomy and astrophysics I do spectrophotometry of gaseous nebulae and active or star-forming galaxies. I use emission line strengths to determine chemical abundances and other properties of astrophysical interest. I am also interested in issues associated with human spaceflight, the history of the space shuttle program and the development and operation of telescopes in space, including on the Moon.

Research Interests

  • Astronomy
  • Observational astronomy
  • Nebular astrophysics
  • Active galaxies
  • Chemcial abundances and enrichment processes
  • Spaceflight
  • Mission operations
  • Robotics

Selected Publications

Bond, H. E., Ciardullo, R. Esplin, T. Hawley, S. A., Liebert, J. & Munari, U. (2016). The Nucleus of the Planetary Nebula EGB 6 as a Post-Mira Binary. Astrophysical Journal, 826(2), 139 - 152. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/0004-637X/826/2/139/pdf

Hawley, S. (2016). Hubble Space Telescope Solar Array Concerns and the Consequences for Servicing Mission 2. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 53(1), 15-24. DOI:10.2514/1.A33388 http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/pdf/DOI:10.2514/1.A33388

Hawley, S. (2016). Foreward (D. Shayler). Hubble Space Telescope: From Concept to Success. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4939-2827-9

Hawley, S. (2016). Foreward. Enhancing Hubble's Vision: Servicing a National Treasure. DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-22644-6

Hawley, S. A. (2014). How Launching the Hubble Space Telescope Influenced Space Shuttle Mission Operations. AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets. DOI://arc.alaa.org/doi/abs/10/2514/1.A32639

Hawley, S. A. (2012). The Engineering, Scientific and Cultural Legacy of the Space Shuttle. In Proceedings of the Conference: The Space Shuttle – An Engineering Milestone. Georgia Institute of Technology. http://www.ae.gatech.edu/spaceshuttlesymp/

Hawley, S. A. (2012). Abundances in ‘Green Pea’ Star-forming Galaxies. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 124(911), 21 – 35.

Hawley, S. A., & Merriam, D. F. (2011). Kansas from Space: A Century of Viewing the Earth From Above. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, 114, 95.

Hawley, S. A. (2011). Spectrophotometry of Southern H II Regions and Strong Line Diagnostics. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 123(899), 44.

Hawley, S. A. (2010). Mission to Mars. In J. Levine & R. Schild (Eds.), The Human Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet (Vol. 47). Cambridge MA: Cosmology Science Publishers.

Hawley, S. A. (2010). Mission to Mars: Risks, Challenges, Sacrifices, and Privileges. One Astronaut’s Perspective. Journal of Cosmology, 12, 3517.

Hawley, S. A. (2003). Human Operations in Space During the Space Shuttle Era. In H. Mark (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (Vol. 1, pp. 788). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing.

Hawley, S. A. (1999). How We’ll Deliver Chandra to Orbit. Sky and Telescope, 98(2), 54.

Selected Presentations

Hawley, S. . (04/23/2015). What Did it Take to Make Hubble Happen. 25th Anniversary of Hubble Launch Conference. Space Telescope Science Institute. Available Here


Doctor of Science, Wheaton College
NASA Distinguished Service Medals (2) 
Presidential Rank Awards (2)
NASA Exceptional Service Awards (3)
NASA Space Flight Medals (5)
NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal
NASA Special Achievement Award
NASA Superior Performance Award
Komarov Diploma
Kansan of the Year (2)
Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame
Kansas University CLAS Distinguished Alumni Award
Kansas University Distinguished Service Citation
U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame

Societies and Affiliations:

American Astronomical Society
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Association of Space Explorers
Astronaut Scholarship Foundation
Coalition for Space Exploration
Sigma Pi Sigma
Phi Beta Kappa
Golden Key