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Jessica Chavez
Intern, Deep Impact

Jessica Chavez

What's the coolest thing about Deep Impact?
The coolest thing about Deep Impact is the fact that we may find clues as to how this solar system was created.

Why do you like working at Jet Propulsion Laboratory?
The fact that somewhere on the lab someone is controlling a satellite or spacecraft that is exploring the universe and the other planets in our solar system! I also like that every one here at JPL is so kind and willing to help you when you are having a problem.

How did you end up in Aerospace?
In my application for the JPL summer internship I mentioned that I had an interest in astronomy, and I was lucky enough to have Maura Rountree-Brown select me as her summer intern.

What job are you performing on Deep Impact?
Currently I am putting together a plan to view the impact on July 4, 2005, I have been researching where the best place for me to observe the impact will be, what type of telescope I will need to use, etc. While observing the impact I will be answering questions that members of the Deep Impact team and I have come up with, such as how comet Tempel 1 will change at point of impact, and how long the effects of the impact last. I am also creating a star chart and that will show where in the sky Tempel 1 can be seen on the night of the impact.

What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I usually have soccer practice or a soccer game, sometimes I hang out with my friends, but usually I stay home and watch TV with my family.

Who in your life inspired you?
My parents are my biggest inspiration; they have worked very hard in order to provide me and my siblings with the things they never had when they were children. My parents have, unknowingly, set an example for me. They have shown me that if I always work hard and do my best at everything I do, my dreams will come true.

What is one yet-to-be achieved life goal?
One yet-to-be achieved life goal is graduating from high school and afterward graduating from college.

Were you technically/scientifically oriented as a young person?
I guess I have always been scientifically oriented; I've always wanted to know how this universe was created, and how life began here on earth. I've also always wanted to know if there is life out there in space, and if not, why?

What was your favorite book as a young person?
My favorite book as a child was, and still is, The Martian Chronicles, because I can really picture myself on Mars whenever I read it. Although many people I know thought it was boring, I found it very exciting. It mixes science fiction and suspense, resulting in one really good book!

What did you want to become when you were young?
When I was young I wanted to become a doctor, but now I want to become a scientist and work for JPL.

If you weren't working in space exploration now, what might you be doing?
If I weren't working in space exploration now, I would probably be at summer school taking an extra credit course for school.

Biographical details contained on these pages were correct during the Deep Impact mission which ended in 2006. Several scientists from Deep Impact are now working on related missions such as EPOXI and Stardust-NExT.

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