Wednesday, May 8, 2024 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Dr. Cathy Olkin
NASA’s Lucy mission was the first spacecraft to visit asteroids sharing an orbit with Jupiter—the Trojan Asteroids, remnants from planetary formation that hold clues to understanding the formation and evolution of our solar system. Over the course of 12 years, the Lucy spacecraft will visit 11 asteroids. Join Dr. Cathy Olkin to learn about the mission and hear the initial results from the Lucy mission’s first flyby of a small main belt asteroid.

From 2014 to 2022, Dr. Olkin was Deputy Principal Investigator of NASA’s Lucy mission. Dr. Olkin worked to ensure that the flight system can achieve the mission’s scientific objectives like understanding the asteroids’ geology, surface composition, bulk properties, and thermal properties. Additionally, Dr. Olkin was an Institute Scientist at Southwest Research Institute where she served as the Deputy Project Scientist for NASA’s New Horizons mission. She was the Instrument Principal Investigator for its Ralph instrument, a color camera and infrared imaging spectrometer that provided information on the color and composition of Pluto’s surface.

Now, as a Principal Scientist at Muon Space, she strives to develop a constellation of satellites to detect and monitor fires across the globe. Her work aims to provide firefighters with high-quality, low-latency information for the management of fire responses, and to provide scientists with data to both model fires and understand the climate impacts. Cathy holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT and Stanford respectively. She earned a PhD in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences from MIT with studies of Triton’s atmosphere from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and other ground-based facilities. Cathy is passionate about the next generation of engineers and scientists and serves as a mentor through programs like FIRST Robotics and the L’SPACE Academy.

Program Schedule:
5:00pm: Doors open. Guests can enjoy museum exhibits, including our traveling exhibit, Galileo, along with light refreshments. Plus, receive 10% off in the science shop!
6:00 - 7:00pm: Lecture and Q&A
7:00 - 8:00pm: Galleries open

Tickets are $10 for adult members and $5 for children members ages 2-12. Tickets are $15 for adult non-members; $10 for children non-members ages 2-12. All children under age 2 are free.

A portion of this event is sponsored by the Women Rock Science experience.

This event is geared toward ages 12 and up.