17-year-old girl could be the first human to reach Mars
New Delhi : Meet the youngest astronaut of NASA, Miss Blueberry. Well, it is the codename given to 17-year-old Alyssa Carson, youngest astronaut in training in the agency. She is so much dedicated herself to preparing for a very important mission, the first human trip to Mars.
In the year 2033, when Alyssa will be 32 and she’ll be on the first NASA trip to Mars. There she and her teammates will develop their own personal habitat, grow their own food, conduct experiments, and look for any signs of Martian life over two to three years.
The best thing about Alyssa is that she has started her preparation to explore the space her whole life, ever since she was first inspired by a Mars-themed episode of her favourite cartoon when she was just nine years old. She found the Red Planet so cool that she began watching videos of rovers landing there, and even had a giant map of Mars on her bedroom wall.
Alyssa began attending every space camp she could find, when she just stepped into her teen age. She was the first to complete NASA’s passport program, which requires a person to visit all 14 of NASA's visitor centers and have their “passport” stamped at each location.
“I did the same thing as other kids, like switching my mind about careers, wanting to be a teacher or the president one day,” she told Teen Vogue in an interview. “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.”
Ironically, Alyssa can’t legally be an astronaut until she’s 18, but NASA’s got her covered. Under the PoSSUM project (Polar Orbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere), and other similar programs, she’s undergoing preliminary astronaut training, so she can be better prepared for the upcoming missions. Her training lessons include micro-gravity training, learning about NASA’s manned and unmanned spacecraft, and more.
“The idea of having a family, that is something NASA would want you to consider once you come back from Mars,” she said in the interview. “It’s a place we’ve never been to, and it’s a dangerous mission. Having someone you love on earth, that’s a distraction.”
And if everything goes well with Alyssa, then she could be the first teenager in space, as she’s bound to go to the International Space Station for training.