(October 19, 2016) – The Hendrix Union conducted a
Q&A Seminar with Chelsey Bryant Krug ’01, who worked on the New Horizons
is the transcript of their questions and her responses. (Special thanks to Chirag Lala ’17 for sharing this information)
’01 was one of the student contributors to the Student Dust Counter on the New
Horizons Probe that just recently made its historic flyby. She worked on the
probe while studying aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder
where she still works to this day as a Production Manager in the Laboratory
for Atmospheric and Space Physics.
If you could name one completely
unexpected find from the New Horizons mission, what would it be?
This would be
discovering the many moons of Pluto. Initially we only thought that Pluto had 2
moons. We now know it has five moons.
Did you do any follow up work on New
No. I did not
work on New Horizons after I graduated. My participation was on the Student
Dust Counter which as the name says, requires that you are a student to work on
it. I actually graduated from grad school the spring before the launch
occurred, so was unable to work on it any longer past that point. (We delivered the instrument while I was still
a student though, so I did work on it all the way to completion of build)
What did you design the dust collector
The goal of the
dust counter was to count dust particles while traveling between earth and
Pluto. By doing this we can advance our understanding of the origin of our
own universe and also learn information to help scienists study planet
formation in dust disks around other stars.
Have you been satisfied with the
performance and results of the dust collector?
Yes the dust
counter has been successful and worked correctly since launch.
If there is a next 'big discovery' from
New Horizons, what do you anticipate it might be?
New Horizons is
now traveling into the Kuiper belt. We are aware of quite a few Kuiper
belt objects already but I suspect that the next big thing that New Horizons
will teach us is of other large Kuiper belt objects we have not yet
Do you have an opinion on what the
American space program should be concentrating its resources and attention on?
(e.g. manned missions, probes, etc.)
Hmmm this one
is a hard one to answer. Personally I
would love to see more American Astronauts get to go to space and I am angry
and sad that NASA has cut the space budget so much that this is limited at this
time. Plus our lack of having a “shuttle” to take us to space disappoints me. the
Government should have been more proactive to have a new shuttle in place when
the old ones were retired. On a professional level though, since I currently
only work in the unmanned side of space exploration, I think that we can
explore and accomplish so much more with the current NASA budget by sticking to
unmanned space crafts. The cost to send a satellite to space is so much less
than sending a shuttle with humans aboard.
Do you have any projects you're
currently working on?
Currently I am
the production manager at the laboratory for atmospheric and Space Physics
(LASP). That means I manage all areas in the production group which include the
machine shop, Electrical assembly, Polymerics, The Cleaning lab and Mechanical
Assembly. Our group is responsible from
building up the flight design of a project after it is designed by the
Do you have any recommendations for
undergraduates looking to go into aerospace engineering, particularly if they
go to a school (like Hendrix) without an aerospace program of sorts?
with undergraduate research opportunities! I tell everyone I can this piece of
advice. I worked with Dr. Robert Dunn while I was at Hendrix on two separate
research projects. Most of the work was done during the summer, but we did a
bit during the school year as well. I worked on the 2nd largest Ring Laser
in the world with Dr. Dunn and also on a hybrid Rocket. Having that research
experience on my resume helped tremendously to get my current job and I believe
also to get accepted to every single graduate school I applied to.
About Hendrix College
is a private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1876 and affiliated
with the United Methodist Church since 1884, Hendrix is featured in Colleges
That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges and is nationally recognized in
numerous college guides, lists, and rankings for academic quality, community, innovation,
and value. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.