While some of us only dream of space travel, Alyssa Carson, a 17-year-old girl who dreams to be the first person on Mars, is making it her reality.
Also known by call sign Blueberry at NASA, the ambitious Louisiana-based teenager has had her “heart set on the stars” since she was 3, after seeing the TV show The Backyardigans.
Among a long list of accomplishments, Alyssa 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.
Alyssa is currently undergoing rigorous training with NASA in order to become part of the first human mission to Mars in the year 2033.
Astonishingly, the teenager has still managed to make time for a traditional education. She’s currently taking all of her school subjects in four languages (English, Chinese, French, and Spanish). She explains, “The biggest [challenge] is time and getting everything done at such a young age while also still attending high school.
Continuing to train at a young age will also be further difficulties for me but I have done great with it so far.” When she’s not training or studying, Alyssa is also a public speaker. She aims to encourage other young people to also pursue their life goals, saying, “Always follow your dream and don’t let anyone take it from you.”