Frank Cepollina Maniac Lecture

Personal Photograph

Associate Director, Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Known as the "Father of On-Orbit Servicing," Frank “Cepi” Cepollina’s exceptional leadership has generated many of the groundbreaking concepts, designs and procedures that have kept the Hubble Space Telescope at the cutting edge of technology throughout its long lifespan.

Frank J. “Cepi” Cepollina championed the idea of in-orbit servicing for satellites. His vision included the redesign of spacecraft to make them modular and hence serviceable.

Mr. Cepollina joined NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in 1963. In 1984, he led the Solar Maximum repair mission – NASA’s first in-orbit repair mission to use the space shuttle. As manager of the Hubble Space Telescope Development Project, he was responsible for engineering the historic first Hubble repair mission in 1993, followed by four successful servicing missions to the space observatory. In 2003, Mr. Cepollina was inducted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his visionary work in modular spacecraft design and satellite servicing.

Mr. Cepollina’s work has led to important medical, manufacturing, and educational spin-offs. These include a Hubble Space Telescope instrument Charge Coupled Device (CCD) used for breast cancer detection; an intelligent, programmable, hand-held power tool developed for servicing Hubble that is now finding manufacturing applications; and highly sophisticated, precision Hubble-type optics being employed to produce smaller, denser, faster computer chips.

Mr. Cepollina now serves as Associate Director of NASA’s Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office. In this position, he is responsible for the formulation, development, and execution of a portfolio of technologies cultivated to provide satellite-servicing capabilities in support of Agency missions and national objectives.