Justification for the name: "Asteroid 1999 RQ36 should be named Arion. Arion was a magical horse from ancient Greek mythology. Legend said that Arion was a beautiful stallion that roamed around and did whatever it wanted. Arion was completely free from anyone’s control. This is one reason the name Arion fits the asteroid. The asteroid flies around space and is controlled by nothing except the gravitational pull of the sun, but can go basically anywhere inside those guide lines. However, once a mortal rides Arion, (it was thought to be impossible for any mortal to ride him) he became completely loyal to them. Once mankind first takes samples from the asteroid, the asteroid will become almost “loyal” to us. For example, one sample rock may unlock untold mysteries of the universe for us. In conclusion, I believe that Arion is the best name for asteroid 1999 RQ36."
What do you want to see next in space? "We believe that all species of life on Earth would benefit if space exploration were to focus on the discovering other habitable planets. The discovery of such planets could provide us with alternatives for our current nonrenewable resources such as fossil fuels, petroleum, natural gasses, and nuclear energy. A planet other than Earth could also potentially provide us with elements that could be used as cures for diseases like cancer. Lastly, these other planets could be perhaps be used as a refuge if anything were to happen which would leave Earth uninhabitable. In conclusion, we believe that the next step in space exploration should be to find another planet similar to earth that could provide us with what we need to not only survive but to thrive as well."
Photo: Back Row: Sean Costa, Caroline Chang, Timothy Park
Middle Row: Susie Fleming, Maiya Mao, Joseph Argenziano
Front Row: Lily Siegel, Georges Micera