One 17-year-old Alyssa Carson is a typical high school senior, who loves watching cooking shows on Netflix and hang out with her friends. Ok; so that's normal for a teenage girl, isn't it? Well, of course, but what's not normal for a 17-year-old is becoming the first human to set foot on Mars. Yes, that's the trip she is planning this summer.
Alyssa has visited the space camp at Turkey in Canada and Huntsville in Missouri, 18 times over the last 10 years and now she is preparing for her 19th visit, which is slated to take place this summer. Alyssa and her father Bert have always been interested in outer space but how does that turn to a trip to Mars?
Well, surprisingly enough it all started with a cartoon. According to her father, she used to love watching the cartoon show 'The Backyardigans' as a kid and it had featured an episode titled 'Mission to Mars.' Since that time, Alyssa had decided that she wants to be an astronaut to go to Mars. Soon, the fascination turned into passion and dedication.
When she was 7-years-old, she and her father went for the first trip to Huntsville; they visited the space museum and little Alyssa was captivated. Later, she and father also got a chance to explore different simulators and rockets during a parent-child weekend.
By that time, Baton Rouge International School's student Alyssa was speaking Chinese, Spanish, French and English fluently and it quickly grabbed the attention of the space-center dignitaries. Soon, she received the Right Stuff Award even before she was 8. Outstanding trainees, who perform exceedingly well in terms of leadership, teamwork and technology during their times at space camp, receives this award.
Alyssa was quite dedicated and serious about exploring space. By the time she was 12, she had already met with NASA's Kennedy Space Center's director Bill Parsons and also become part of a NASA panel at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. for discussing the future of Mars missions.
Alyssa has also talked to Charlie Bolden, the former NASA administrator privately and she has a close relationship with the CEO of Space Center Deborah Barnhart. Many other influential people and bigwigs of the space programme are her mentors.
Now, everyone in NASA knows how passionate and dedicated Alyssa is about going to Mars. The space engineers, who are building the spacecraft that will go to Mars are supposed to see the people that will go to the Red Planet aboard the spacecraft and the experts at the space agency are grooming Alyssa for a future Mars mission that is scheduled to take place in 2033, informed Alyssa's father to AP.
Add to all this credibility, Alyssa also has her pilot's license and scuba licence, she's certified to launch special rockets. By the end of this August, she is also going to become one of the first people to receive an applied astronautics professional certification.
Alyssa has already been accepted by the International Space University in order to pursue a master's degree after she finishes her graduation in astrobiology from the Florida Institute of Technology, where she will go after school.
Alyssa wants to work as a biologist and a geologist during her first mission to Mars and she believes that it's necessary for the humankind to explore different planets.
Well, we would like to say "good luck" to Alyssa. You go, girl!