Alyssa Carson fell in love with space when she was only 3 years old and now is making it her life’s work to be the first human to land on Mars.
The 17-year-old is training to be on the first NASA trip to the Red Planet, where she says she’ll spend two to three years.
It started with “The Backyardigans” — a TV show that features an episode called “Mission to Mars.” After watching the episode, the rest of her life would be focused on all things space.
Carson began her journey at NASA’s United State Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.
“My dad had to go through everything with me. It was the best weekend of my life. I learned everything about space that I wanted to know. I kept going every year,” Carson said.
As of now, the mission to Mars is scheduled for 2033. They will travel in the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and use the Orion spacecraft.
“With the current technology, it will take 6 months to get to Mars. We will stay there for over a year because we have to wait for the planets to align together and then it is a nine-month trip back,” Carson said. “It’s a two- to three-year mission in total.”
Carson says she wants to make new discoveries and learn more about Mars. She says she will be looking at the water samples, seeing if they can find any signs of life and uncover the history.
“To understand what’s going on there and what resources we can find,” Carson said. “It’s something that I think is super important for us to accomplish.”
Until the mission to Mars, she will continue preparing and building her resume. Right now, she’s working on getting her pilot’s license, underwater survival training, scuba diving certification and more.
“Follow your dream. When I was three saying I wanted to go to Mars, it was absolutely insane. But now, I am out here doing actual training,” she said.