Dr. Claudia Alexander, whose career in physics and aeronautical
engineering was inspired by the research of Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
in circular orbits, would have been excited to learn that NASA announced
on Thursday the discovery of an exoplanet Kepler-452b that is a “close
cousin” of Earth, thanks to the Kepler Space Telescope. Alexander,
a pioneering Black woman in her field and the last project manager of
NASA’s Galileo mission to Jupiter, died on July 11 in Arcadia, Calif.
after a decade-long battle with breast cancer. She was 56.