Mark Clampin, Director of Astrophysics Division NASA – Full interview, Habitable Worlds Observatory

From Dr. Becky.

The full unedited version of my interview with Mark Clampin, the Director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA. We chatted about the Habitable Worlds Observatory, including how it will be different to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and how the plan is to use it to take a direct images of Earth-like exoplanets and study their atmospheres for biosignatures. I also couldn’t help but ask Mark about his career path and how he became NASA’s Director of Astrophysics.

Last week’s video on the Habitable Worlds Observatory –
More on Mark Clampin –
Follow Mark on LinkedIn –

00:00 – Introduction
00:32 – Introducing Mark Clampin
00:37 – What does the head of Astrophysics at NASA do?
01:52 – How long has Mark been in this job?
04:12 – Why was the Habitable Worlds Observatory project chosen? NASA’s decision making process.
07:13 – What will the Habitable Worlds Observatory give us that we’ve never had before?
10:10 – Is the biggest leap from the telescope or coronagraph technology?
10:46 – What is Mark’s science research focus?
11:47 – Mark’s career path – how do you become head of astrophysics at NASA?!
15:45 – What’s going to be the biggest chance in how we do astronomy/astrophysics in the next few decades?
17:29 – Outro

Video filmed on a Sony ⍺7 IV & iPhone 13 Pro

🎧 Royal Astronomical Society Podcast that I co-host:

📚 My new book, "A Brief History of Black Holes", out NOW in paperback, e-book and audiobook (which I narrated myself!):

📚 "The Year In Space" celebrating all things space in 2022 from me and the rest of the Supermassive Podcast team:

👕 My new merch, including JWST designs, are available here (with worldwide shipping!):

🔔 Don’t forget to subscribe and click the little bell icon to be notified when I post a new video!

👩🏽‍💻 I’m Dr. Becky Smethurst, an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford (Christ Church). I love making videos about science with an unnatural level of enthusiasm. I like to focus on how we know things, not just what we know. And especially, the things we still don’t know. If you’ve ever wondered about something in space and couldn’t find an answer online – you can ask me! My day job is to do research into how supermassive black holes can affect the galaxies that they live in. In particular, I look at whether the energy output from the disk of material orbiting around a growing supermassive black hole can stop a galaxy from forming stars.