While many of us just dream of space travel, this 17 year old astronaut trainee Alyssa Carson is making it a reality. The ambitious Louisiana-based teenager has had her “heart set on the stars” ever since she was a little girl. At the age of 3, she watched a cartoon of people going to Mars in the series, The Backyardigans. She told her father back then, “Daddy, I want to be an astronaut, and be one of the people that go to Mars.” Staying true to her word, she’s currently undergoing rigorous training with NASA in order to become part of the first human mission to Mars in the year 2033.
Blueberry is the codename given to 17-year-old Alyssa, NASA’s youngest astronaut in training. And she’s dedicated herself to preparing for a very important mission: the first manned trip to Mars.
Among a long list of accomplishments, Carson is the youngest person ever to graduate Advanced Space Academy. She’s also the first in the world to have completed all three NASA Space Camps (United States, Canada, and Turkey). Furthermore, she’s the first and only person to complete the NASA Passport Program, having visited all 14 of NASA’s visitor centers located across nine U.S. states. In January 2013, she was invited to join NASA TV’s MER 10 panel in Washington DC to discuss future missions to Mars. She was later chosen as one of seven ambassadors for Mars One, a mission to establish the first human settlement on the red planet in 2033. In October 2016, Carson graduated the Advanced Possum Academy, making her the youngest person ever to be officially certified to go to outer-space.
"I did the same thing as other kids, like switching my mind about careers, wanting to be a teacher or the president one day,
But the way I always thought about it was I would become an astronaut, go to Mars, come back, and then be a teacher or the president."
Surprisingly, Alyssa is managing her ongoing school education as well and doing complete justice to it. Because NASA doesn’t accept applicants younger than 18, she has done most of her training in a citizen science program called Project Possum. She can officially apply for NASA once she turns 18. Alyssa undergoes training all across the globe, learning fascinating subjects such as microgravity and underwater training. which’ll help her with her future mission.
In the year 2033 – when Alyssa is 32-years-old – she plans to soar off to the red planet. Once on alien soil, she will grow food, conduct science experiments, and look for signs of life over a two to three year period. Because she’s effectively going to be offworld for about four years, NASA has instructed the young girl to stay focused and avoid getting involved in any kind of romantic relationship with anyone. If all goes as per the plan she won’t return from Mars until the age of 36. On this Alyssa says,
"The idea of having a family, that is something NASA would want you to consider once you come back from Mars. It’s a place we’ve never been to, and it’s a dangerous mission. Having someone you love on earth, that's a distraction."
Well, that requires tons of courage for a 17th year old to say and to understand the actual meaning out of it. Salute to the grand spirit of this young girl and the diligence for her passion. We wish you all the luck Alyssa!! Best wishes to the future 'first teen on the red planet'.