This teenager is determined to be the first human on Mars
What makes 15-year-old Alyssa Carson different from other teenagers of her age? While many of them may be thinking about what college they should choose after schooling, Alyssa, on the other hand, is planning to be one of the first human to step foot on Mars – a thing she has been preparing for almost her entire life.
And going by how committed she appears to the cause, Alyssa might just be the first person to land on Mars.
In 15 years, NASA wants to land the first manned mission to the red planet and Alyssa could very well be part of that historic crew of astronauts. She has already become the youngest person to ever complete the Advanced Space Academy course and the first person to attend all of NASA’s Space Camps around the world. She is currently studying college-level classes from 10th grade – in four languages.
“I first got interested in going to Mars when I was three years old,” Alyssa says in the UPROXX video above. “I do everything that every other normal kid does, except on the side I’m training to become an astronaut and go to Mars!”
Recently, she has become the youngest person ever to be accepted into Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere), a non-profit research program studying the upper atmosphere, and certifying would-be astronauts for flying into space.
With an impressive list of achievements already and after watching in her TEDx talk, one can be sure that she will certainly achieve her dream.
“She’s got the right mental attitude, she’s doing everything that she can physically here on Earth to prepare herself for that journey to Mars,” says NASA Stennis Space Centre public affairs officer Paul Foerman.
Advanced scuba diving and Oxygen deprivation training is next on the list for Alyssa. Later, she has plans to study science at Cambridge University in the UK, and get a Masters in Space Engineering at the International Space University in France, after which he plans to go to the MIT to study astrobiology.
From 2030, NASA is planning to start missions to Mars. With age in Alyssa’s favour, she should be 29 by then, which is just a few years lower than the average.
You can bookmark Alyssa’s official NASA Blueberry site, named after her call sign of choice, if you want to keep a record of her progress.
While Alyssa’s dad Bert Carson who has played a supporting role in her journey said that his daughter has managed to learn more about space than he ever thought he would. The thought of saying goodbye to his daughter makes Bert emotional, as he may be saying farewell to her forever.
“That’s hard,” he says in the video above. “But for what she’s wanting to do, I have to support her, I have to let her go. It’s bigger than the two of us.”
As speculated by some, Alyssa isn’t disturbed if the first trip ends up being a one-way journey.
“Even though there’s a lot of risk in going to Mars, I believe the rewards are so much greater,” she says. “At the end of the day there’s so much good that can come from this mission.”
Catch her inspirational TEDx talk below: