Mickey Horn, Earth and Space Exploration-Exploration Systems Design Major


Karin Valentine

Michael “Mickey” Horn, a junior majoring in Exploration Systems Design, has always liked math and constructing things. After learning about ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, he knew he’d found a perfect fit for his interests and skills in this degree, which focuses on designing and building instruments for space exploration.  

According to Horn, this interdisciplinary degree lets him focus on several engineering disciplines, giving him a broad perspective and the ability to put all the pieces of a project together. “ASU has been a life-changing experience for me,” says Horn. By attending ASU and majoring in exploration systems design, I know what I want to do and how to do it.”

In addition to engineering skills, Horn has also had the opportunity at ASU to work on projects that required intense team work, which he considers an important and essential professional development skill. Together with other students, faculty and engineers, Horn has helped build a radio dish from the ground up and is building and operating a drone-mounted radio telescope calibrator.

Horn’s advice for incoming students is to ask for help when you need it and to persevere. “There’s usually an answer somewhere if you ask,” says Horn.

He recommends students get involved early to make their college experience successful, whether it’s a paid position or volunteer work. “Talk to your professors, look for internships, and get hands-on experience beyond the classroom,” says Horn.

Horn will graduate in 2019 and plans to attend graduate school at ASU for systems engineering. He’d eventually like to work on robots, drones or aircraft. Of his experience so far at ASU, Horn says, “you can’t find something like this anywhere else. The opportunities at the school to work on space projects are truly unique.”