East Hawaii News

UH-Hilo Student Awarded NASA Research Internship

April 18, 2014, 4:55 PM HST
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A geology student at the University of Hawaii at Hilo will be spending her summer doing research involving study of one of Earth’s neighbors.

Melissa Adams has been selected for a Sally Ride Internship at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Adams, a senior of Native Hawaiian ancestry at UH-Hilo, will be studying terrestrial minerals similar to those found on Mars.

She found one of those minerals on Mauna Kea while working as an intern at the Hilo-based Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, also known as PISCES.

This summer, Adams will be conducting chemical analyses of the mineral at the NASA center’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate.

The findings will be used to support robotic missions to the Red Planet.

“I am so grateful for the people that have been instrumental in helping me get this opportunity,” Adams said in a statement.

The Sally Ride Internships were created by NASA last year to honor the first American woman in space.

Up to 10 of the internships are granted each year to give students an opportunity to work alongside space researchers.

They are also designed to promote careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM, of which Ride was a longtime proponent.

The former astronaut died in 2012 at the age of 61.

In 2013 President Obama posthumously awarded Ride the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

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