WASHINGTON: Nineteen-year-old Alyssa Carson is an American space enthusiast who is hoping to become the first person to walk on Mars.
Born in Louisiana in March 2001, Carson took a keen interest in space from the age of three after she saw a space-themed episode of “The Backyardigans”, and has remained focused on her career ever since.
She is the only person to have attended every single space camp available, which includes those held in Canada and Turkey. She has attended Space Academy three times, Space Camp seven times, and Robotics academy once. She has also witnessed three space shuttle launches.
The teen is also the youngest-ever person to graduate from the Advanced Space Academy aged just 16, and in 2014 became the first person to complete the NASA Passport Program by attending each of its fourteen visitor centres across nine different states.
This prompted organisers to invite her onto the panel at the MER (Mars Exploration Rover) event, which took place at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Currently, she is studying astrobiology at the Florida Institute of Technology.
NASA is planning to send humans to Mars in 2030. Carson considered herself a Mars generation which would be the first who would go on the planet.
She has learned several foreign languages including Chinese, Spanish, French, and a little bit Turkish. She is also delivering motivational speeches to other children.
Carson is part of a group of young astronauts and hopeful space explorers that have the common goal of becoming the first crew to land on and walk upon the surface of the red planet.
She and her peers are currently preparing to mount an effort to get onto NASA’s radar, in the hope of being chosen to form the team that looks to resumes space exploration once the coronavirus pandemic is behind us.
The trainee has already amassed a hefty following on Twitter interested in the knowledge she has to share. She has also a significant following on Instagram, where she shares wisdom and video content imported from her TikTok to enlighten her subscribers.
As with many other practical industries, her progress has been scuppered by various lockdown and social distancing rules, which has allowed Alyssa time to not only continue to study but to increase her online presence and build an even bigger online profile.
All her handles are under the guise of ‘NASA Blueberry’, which she has as her branding – stemming from her use of the call sign she used during her time at various space camps.