After the week of research showcase, we finally moved on to final product. We spent the entire class brainstorming ideas and discussing the pros and cons about them. I am personally really excited for my final product because I will be going down to the Johnson Space Center to do my research on the Nakhla meteorite. In addition to that, I will get to use some really high-tech lab equipment. For example, I am going to utilize the Transmission Electron Microscope, SEM, UV, and FESEM Analysis. I honestly can't believe I am getting to work in NASA's Lab in high school. I still have to pinch myself because my mentor is a senior planetary scientist at NASA. On that note, I got to speak with her last Thursday. We talked about how showcase went. I told her how my seventh-grade teacher came to see me and my mentor was super thrilled. Afterward, we discussed the Drake Equations. She taught me what all the parameters mean and also what the equation meant in general. I found this equation to be really interesting because it was a mathematical estimate of whether there is intelligent life outside of our planet. She also told me about a bacteria that can live in extreme radiation and how we should take it to Mars to test if it could survive. Every time I talk to her, I learn about fascinating things. Our discussions made me realize how little we know about Earth and the universe. After we talked about these scientific discoveries, Dr. Keprta told me how she was close friends with Astronaut Rex Walheim and that she would connect me with him. Later, I did some research on him and he is a pretty amazing guy. He was on the last space shuttle crew to the International Space Station. He is currently working on the Orion Spacecraft. I really hope I get to meet him because he seems like a very informative and inspiring person.

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