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Teen Preparing for Mission to Mars

Posted July 21, 2018 12:00 AM by M-ReeD
Pathfinder Tags: Mars space

While many people spend their teen years devoted to some combination of juvenile delinquency and aggressive mood swings, one teen is hard at work demonstrating that there are other ways to spend those difficult teen years.

Instead of learning to drink in the woods with her friends or committing some other teenage “rite of passage,” Alyssa Carson of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is spending her teen years preparing for a different kind of experience: a trip to Mars.

Having spent her childhood at various space camps all over the world, Carson has been fascinated with space since she was very young.

“Alyssa used to love watching ‘The Backyardigans’ when she was 3,” her father Bert Carson recalled. “And there was an episode called ‘Mission to Mars.’ I remember her coming to me and asking about it — she said, ‘I decided I want to be one of those astronauts and go to Mars one day.’ She developed a fascination, and it kept developing from there.”

When Alyssa was 7, she and her father made their first trip to Huntsville, Alabama, where they visited the space museum.

“Alyssa was like a kid going to Disney and hanging with Mickey for four days,” Bert added. “We got information about space camp and came back for a parent/child weekend where she got to explore simulators and rockets.”

By the time Alyssa was 7, she was able to speak four languages (English, Chinese, French and Spanish) and managed to catch the attention of higher ups in the space program, even winning an award devoted to trainees at space camp who go above and beyond in categories such as leadership, technology and teamwork. Dubbed the Right Stuff Award after the Tom Wolfe book of the same name, Alyssa managed to win the award at just 8 years old.

In addition to her many early accomplishments, Alyssa has also earned both a pilot’s license, a scuba license, and is set to receive an applied astronautics professional certification — all before earning an undergraduate degree from the Florida Institute of Technology where she intends to go to college.

“Everyone at NASA knows how serious she is,” Bert explains, “and that she has the potential to be on the first mission, which is targeted for 2033. The employees who are building the rockets see who they are building them for. Alyssa is being groomed to go to Mars, and so many people are helping her to build a unique resume to help her stand out from everyone else.”

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#1

Re: Teen Preparing for Mission to Mars

07/21/2018 1:11 PM

I wish her luck. I remember 49 years ago when we first landed on the moon, I had the same dreams.

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Re: Teen Preparing for Mission to Mars

07/21/2018 8:09 PM

Like any lottery, SOMEBODY's gonna win (maybe).

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Re: Teen Preparing for Mission to Mars

07/22/2018 11:36 AM

This is no lottery! Winning a lottery is highly dependent on luck. In this race, knowledge, skills, and perseverance far outweigh luck. On the other hand, I certainly wish her good luck!

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Re: Teen Preparing for Mission to Mars

07/23/2018 11:48 AM

Perseverance is the one immovable force.

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