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The National Inventors Hall of Fame awards an annual Lifetime Achievement Award to an individual who has fostered innovation throughout his or her lifetime. The 2008 recipient is Riccardo Giacconi, who pioneered the field of X-ray astronomy and fostered advancements in astronomy through his teaching and leadership. His work has led to greater understanding of the formation, evolution, and development of structures in the early universe. Giacconi has served as the first Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, which oversees the operations of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and as Director of the European Southern Observatory. Currently on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University, Giacconi was a co-recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in physics, and received the 2003 National Medal of Science.

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Credit: R.K. Morris (www.ryankmorris.com)