Alyssa Carson: First person on Mars?

According to her father, it is destiny working in her favor to ensure this amazing young woman’s dreams of going to Mars, which she’s had since she was 3, become a reality. This week, to celebrate the anniversary of the Apollo 11’s moon landing, DiscovHer brings you the story of yet another space pioneer, Alyssa Carson.

Technology today is evolving at an unstoppable pace, and is heralding all sorts of solutions to our most pressing issue, of which our most urgent is climate change. Due to various factors, our world is expected to become inhabitable in the near future. It is why research into other planets is now the focus of many space programs. The most important one is of course Mars, which humans are expected to be able to visit in less than 20 years from now.

At the heart of this is Alyssa Carson, a 15-year old astronaut-in-training, who is set on become the first human being on Mars as part of NASA’s 2033 mission. At such a tender age, she has managed to fulfil a vast majority of the basic requirements for space travel, which include: earning a rocket license (which she obtained before her driving license), earning her basic SCUBA certification, completing all NASA space camps in the world (the first person in the world to do so), graduating from the Advanced Space Academy which is the highest level of astronaut initiation, and taking International Baccalaureate classes - in four languages!

Her dedication to this mission has led to her to do everything possible to physically and mentally train for what’s to come, all while living her young life to the fullest. For even if what she is aiming to do will be a dream come true for her, it comes at a very high cost: there is a high likelihood that all those who leave earth for Mars will be unable to return, and will therefore leave behind all they know and love for this mission. While it is a daunting thought, Alyssa firmly believes that its benefits far outweigh the cost, given the stakes for humanity. A grave and practical attitude for one so young. However, it is no surprise given the testimonies from her teachers, and her father, the latter being both extremely proud but also emotional about his daughter’s chosen path in life. They all attest to Alyssa’s positive mindset, and her maturity, which they state is what makes her the perfect choice for such a mission, especially as most of her colleagues are older, more experienced adults.

Her drive continues to show as she takes the next steps to attaining her goal. She is currently working on her advanced SCUBA certification, and has been accepted to the PoSSUM Academy which trains people for space travel - again the youngest person to be admitted to this institution. Yet another achievement in her long list.

In her dedication to seeing her dream through, she has become a role model and pioneer in so many aspects and to so many people, long before she’s set one foot in space. We can hardly wait to see what she’ll achieve then!

Inspired by Alyssa Carson? Let us know @4womeninscience.

For Women in Science

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