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NASA's Optimus Prime Award winner creates endangered animals video

"Dahlia" Senthilnathan Huh, a middle-school student in Germantown, Maryland, was one of the winners of the NASA Optimus Prime Spinoff Award. Huh's winning video showcased the Hubble Space Telescope and how it is being used to locate endangered animals.

"Dahlia has beautifully blended the elements of this story: vulnerable animals, our desire to protect and learn more about them, and the ability of technology -- even from as far afield as astronomy -- to make it possible. Dahlia has captured it all. Her video truly connects the dots!" said Zaven Arzoumanian, who works for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Astrophysics Division.

The way that satellites help track endangered animals is through little transmitters that scientists place on wild animals, according to This allows space satellites to receive and give out signals related to the animal's location. Space satellites have an obvious advantage over stationary trackers on the ground, which may lose signal from an animal that wanders too far away.

The videos were viewed by a panel consisting of NASA judges. The contest will be offered again this year, expanding to include high school students as well as middle school students.
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