The enduring popularity of Star Wars just shows how endlessly fascinated we humans are with space and distant planets.
However, it takes a special – and brave – sort of individual to dedicate themselves to becoming the very first person to step foot on Mars.
At just 17-years-old, Alyssa Carson is an astronaut in training. Now if that wasn’t impressive enough, she’s also being prepared for a very important 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.
Committed Alyssa has been preparing for the out-of-this-world adventure since she was just three-years-old, after a Mars-themed episode of cartoon The Backyardigans captured her imagination.
Talking about her sky-high ambitions with Teen Vogue, Alyssa said:
I thought, ‘This red planet is so cool’ I started watching videos of rovers landing on Mars. I had a gigantic map of Mars in my room I would look at. We started getting telescopes so we could look at space.
Her passion for space continued to soar throughout her childhood. After attending space camp at the age of seven, she was so inspired she returned a further 18 times.
By the time she turned 12, the starry eyed girl had become the first ever person to go to each of the three NASA space camps, which are located in Huntsville, Alabama; Quebec, Canada; and Izmir, Turkey.
Alyssa always knew her fascination was way more than just a passing phase, explaining:
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.
Although she’s unable to apply to be an astronaut until she turns 18, NASA is reportedly working alongside the determined teenager to ensure she has a good chance of succeeding.
Other space organisations – such as SpaceX to MarsOne – are reportedly considering sending her on a space mission at a much earlier date.
Could Alyssa become the first teen in space?
Alyssa undergoes training all across the globe, learning fascinating subjects such as microgravity and underwater training. which’ll help her with her future mission.
Since she won’t return from Mars until the age of 36, she’s holding off from getting involved in romantic relationships.
Explaining the complications of this to Teen Vogue, Alyssa said:
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, thats a distraction.
Good luck Alyssa, I’m sure there can’t be a more dedicated or informed space-enthusiast anywhere in the galaxy.
Now, as someone who spent their seventeenth year going to local ‘battle of the bands’ and re-reading Twilight, I feel extremely inadequate right now…
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