Mars is of course the “Red Planet” which the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are targeting for its next planned manned expedition sometime in 2033.
That is less than 20 years from now and so the question is: Who will make it as the first human to leave his/her footprints on Mars?
A 7th grader from Baton Rouge, Louisiana claims she belongs to the Mars generation since she decided to become an astronaut when she was just 3-years old and hopes to be the first person to set foot and explore the Red Planet in person.
In fact, intrepid 13-year-old Alyssa Carson has spent close to ten years now training to be an astronaut for the historic journey in 2013, which is about the time that the U.S. space agency will send the first batch of human explorers to Mars.
Carson is said to have already made it as the first person to complete all three of NASA’s world space camps, which gives budding astronauts like her the opportunity to ride space flight simulators and experience zero gravity experienced by astronauts in space. The five-day camps also test the physical abilities of the participants. She has also made it as the first person to complete the NASA Passport Program, which involves visiting all of the U.S. space agency’s 14 Visitor’s Centers in the U.S.
“I have thought about possibly being other things but being an astronaut was always first on my list,” Carson said. “I don’t want one obstacle in the way to stop me from going to Mars … Failure is not an option”.
NASA is not discounting her ambitions and thinks that Carson is doing the right thing and taking all the right steps for her to realize her dreams as an astronaut of the Mars generation.
Bret Carson, Alyssa’s dad, said he has spoken to his daughter about the possibility that she may never return from Mars but he says she isn’t worried about that.
“We have the next 20 years planned out, we know what she’s doing, she’s looking at going on a mission to Mars in 2033,” he said. “In 20 years I may not ever see her again, there are options out there where they go to Mars and not come back, and we’ve had those discussions, and if that’s the only option she still wants to go.”
Talking about raw courage!