Science

Meet Alyssa Carson: The First Human Who Will Set Foot On Mars

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| July 11 , 2018 , 19:15 IST

While many of us can only dream of space travel, a 17-year-old Alyssa Carson is making it a reality. The youngest astronaut from Louisiana is set to be the first human to land on Mars. The two-month mission is scheduled for 2033, which means Carson will be 32 by then.

Among a long list of accomplishments, Carson is the youngest person to graduate Advanced Space Academy. She's also the first in the world to complete all three NASA Space Campus. Furthermore, she is the first and only person to complete NASA Passport Program having visited all fourteen of NASA's visitor centres located across nine U.S states.

In January 2013, she was invited to join NASA TV's MER 10 panel in Washington DC to discuss future missions to Mars. She was later chosen as one of seven ambassadors for Mars One, a mission to establish the first human settlement on the red planet in 2033. In October 2016, Carson graduated Advanced Possum Academy, making her the youngest person ever to be officially certified to go to outer space.

She also attends seminars and other public speaking events to address her peers and encourages other youngsters - particularly women - to get involved in science, technology, engineering and maths.

"I did the same thing as other kids, like switching my mind about careers, wanting to be a teacher or the president one day. But the way I always thought about it was I would become an astronaut, go to Mars, come back, and then be a teacher or the president,"  she said while speaking to Teen Vogue.

Carson is currently undergoing rigorous training for the mission under NASA's Polar Orbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere project and other similar programmes, which includes zero gravity, underwater survival training and more. Albeit she can't officially be a NASA astronaut until she's 18. She does, however, have a codename: Blueberry.

The aim of the trip to Mars is to find resources like water samples, signs of life and to develop their own personal habitat.