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Alyssa Carson: 19 Year Old Prepares For Mars Mission

The story behind the girl who looks to Go Where Others Don’t Go.

Photo Courtesy of NASA/Bill Ingalls

By Cam Cirillo • Published on 3/8/21 • 4 min read

Alyssa Carson is a 19 year old from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, soon to make one of the most monumental steps in human history. Alyssa will be the first person to set foot on the Red Planet with the 2033 Mars One Mission. Fasten your seatbelts, and prepare for liftoff.

From the beginning, Alyssa Carson has sought adventure among the stars. Her goal of being the first human to step foot on Mars has been intertwined with her pursuit to conquer the uncharted. Alyssa’s father mentioned in an interview that “as a three or four-year-old, she got interested in Mars and thought about it becoming an astronaut”. Well this thought has turned into a reality, and she’s got the credentials to back it up. Alyssa attended her first space camp in Huntsville, Alabama at the age of 7. At 9 years old, she met with NASA astronaut Sandra Magnus who inspired her to pursue her passion for space travel, even encouraging her to be the first to colonize the red planet. In 2012 and 2013, she furthered her education at Space Camp Turkey and Space Camp Canada, becoming the first person to attend all three NASA Space Camps in the world. Alyssa is also the youngest person to be accepted and graduate from the Advanced PoSSUM Space Academy, giving her the certification to go to space and achieve the dream of becoming an astronaut. If this wasn’t enough, she was the first to complete the NASA Passport program, visiting all 14 NASA Visitor’s Centers. In January of 2013, NASA invited her to be on the MER 10 panel in Washington DC to discuss future missions to Mars live on NASA TV.

It truly is amazing to see the growth and accomplishments Alyssa Carson has made in recent years. Through her notable achievements, she was given the nickname Blueberry symbolizing the iconic blue NASA uniform she uses in training. Alyssa has expressed the importance of working hard, finding passion in life, and never giving up on the mission at hand; in her mind, anything is possible. Despite picking a rigorous career path with an intense goal in mind, Alyssa Carson is pioneering a new era of space exploration, affirming that “we are the Mars generation”.

“Never let anyone take your dreams away from you. This is a time of change. This is a time to explore”

- Alyssa Carson

Astrophysicists are predicting a dimming in the sun’s radiation output, and ideal position of Mars relative to Earth in 2033. Travel time between planets varies from year to year due to the positioning of the planets in proximity to one another. Every two years, there is minimal distance between Earth and Mars. This minimal distance requires less fuel, less time, and significantly fewer expenses. Both planets orbit the sun at different speeds, which causes this relationship. Mars is roughly 55 million kilometers away from Earth. With such a long distance in between planets, many variables must be considered for a successful mission. The spacecraft must be able to escape Earth's gravity, and needs to be of a certain weight so it can launch with ease. The first spacecraft to make the trip to Mars was NASA’s Mariner 4, which launched on November 28th, 1964. The unmanned voyage took 228 days. Since then, there have been a total of 49 launches to Mars, with many ending unsuccessfully. The most recent unmanned rover to succeed and collect data for observation is the Perseverance rover.

Alyssa wants to shift the paradigm. She often mentions the need for youth to take up new perspectives in order to shift the narrative of space exploration, and is never bothered by the downsides of such an ordeal. Alyssa is a pioneer willing to lead and advance the human experience. She is perfectly fine not getting married, or leaving her family and friends behind. Her time is spent studying to better her knowledge for this potential one way trip. Without forward thinkers and dreamers like Alyssa Carson, the world will cease to progress. As Blueberry says, never give up on your dreams. Go Where Others Don’t Go.

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