Cathy Olkin


I am a planetary scientist with interests in icy outer solar system worlds (publication).  I use near-infrared spectroscopy to study icy surfaces, stellar occultations to investigate tenuous atmospheres and am the Deputy Principal Investigator for NASA’s Lucy mission and the lead for the Ralph instrument on NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto.  Be sure to visit my links above to see places I have observed and training I am doing for research aboard commercial suborbital vehicles.

  1. New Horizons is the first NASA mission to explore Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.  The trip will take 9.5 years arriving in the summer of 2015.  Pictures of our family at the launch are here.

  2. Jimboree! a celebration to honor Jim Elliot

  3. Hiking some 14ers: Bierstat, Gray’s Peak, Long’s Peak.

  4. New Zealand occultation adventures

Other pages:

Teaching kids through Project ASTRO in California making a scale model of the Earth and Moon.

Selected Community Activities:


Talking about Pluto and New Horizons at the Lower East Side Girls Club, NYC.

Teaching teachers through Project ASTRO in Colorado using a crating experiment.

At the CO regional with some students from Up-A-Creek Robotics.

About Me