When some of us were 13, our hobbies were moaning about school, watching Home and Away, and hanging out at the local mall on weekends. But Alyssa Carson has other ideas. Ideas that are literally out of this world. She wants to be the first person to walk on Mars, and she’s already preparing for her mission.
The space-obsessed teen from Baton Rouge, Louisiana has wanted to be an astronaut since she was three. She’s the only person to have attended all three of NASA’s world space camps (like the film!), where she got her call sign, ‘Blueberry’ (because she was the smallest, and the spacesuits are blue). She’s also attended the Robotics Academy and the prestigious Sally Ride Camp, which is aimed at creating more female astronauts. Her Twitter bio confidently declares: ‘Future Mars Walker’.
According to Buzzfeed, she wants to study at Cambridge, do a masters degree in France (at the International Space University in France, naturally), and then get a PhD in astrophysics or astrobiology. After that, she’ll be raring to go to the red planet, with a plan to step foot on Mars in 2033. Her dad Bret says he’s spoken to his daughter about the possibility that she might not make it back to earth (it takes up to 300 days to get there, for starters) but Alyssa is undaunted. ‘Failure is not an option,’ she told the BBC.
And NASA is taking her ambitions seriously. Paul Foreman from the organisation agrees that she’s on the right track. ‘She’s of the perfect age to one day become an astronaut, to eventually travel to Mars. She’s doing the right things, taking the right training, taking all the right steps to actually become an astronaut,’ he said.
For now she’s content to give motivational speeches (including at TEDx), brush up on her Spanish, French and Chinese, and update her blog with all her space-related adventures. Something tells me that if anyone’s going to colonise Mars, Alyssa will. Possibly single-handedly.
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