Louisiana Women: LSU graduate’s groundbreaking research heading to the moon

Local News

BATON ROUGE, LA (BRPROUD) – LSU will soon be the first university to put technology on the moon and one LSU graduate is helping lead that research. Carly Laing sat down with Haley Pellegrin about her contributions in this week’s Louisiana Women.

It’s been almost five decades since people walked the moon’s surface, but thanks to new research, that clock will soon reset.

“There’s nothing else to say other than it feels amazing,” said Haley Pellegrin.

That research is being done right here in the capital city.

“It’s not exactly ideal to send humans yet to the moon to make those measurements directly because it’s still so unknown. It’s very high energy radiation and we’re not exactly sure the health effects it could cause on the body,” said Pellegrin.

Haley Pellegrin is an LSU graduate. She majored in medical physics and is one of three students working on the Tiger Eye 1 Research Mission.

“Honestly, it feels surreal. Sometimes I have to take a step back and I’m like wow, I need to pinch myself. There’s always that one group of kids that says oh I want to be an astronaut or I want to do something in space, and I was most definitely one of those kids,” said Pellegrin.

The science, art and design and engineering colleges are collaborating to make future space travel safer for people and equipment.

“We’re putting radiation detectors on this lunar lander and we’re going to be sending it to the moon. So while it’s out there we’re going to be getting all the radiation data to get a better judge of what exactly is the radiation out there and how we can better judge on the adverse biological effects that may occur if we sent a human there,” said Pellegrin.

Pellergrin said working with another woman on this groundbreaking project is empowering.

“In today’s world more and more women are going into S.T.E.M. but if you look at the numbers it is still a male-dominated field. I mean there’s nothing else to say other than it just feels amazing,” said Pellegrin.

She said the sky’s the limit if you set your mind to it, or in this case, the moon.

“I hope this will be something to pave a way maybe for younger children who were like me in the position where I always grew up afraid to get out of my comfort zone. I never would have thought I’d have the opportunity to do something like this. You know, I hope one day someone can see this and be like wow this girl from small town Burg Louisiana is on something so big. I want to now go after my dreams and do something like that,” said Pellegrin.

You can learn more about the Tiger Eye 1 Mission HERE.

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