Alyssa Carson is the world’s youngest astronaut in training, plan to be the first human to step foot on Mars. Carson was at 15 the youngest person ever accepted into the prestigious Advanced PoSSUM Space Academy.
“With getting to Mars, we’re developing so many technologies that we eventually use for everyday life on earth, there are so many benefits to us actually going to Mars.”
Please tell how did your relationship and love for space begin. (Alyssa Carson) My relationship and love for space began when I was just a little girl, it could have been a cartoon, The Backyardigans they have an episode that’s called Mission to Mars. That kind of first sparked my interest in space but once I started learning more about Mars, about space I was instantly hooked. The first time I went to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama was the first time I really got exposed to so much knowledge about space. And from then on I was absolutely sure that I want to become an astronaut and have really been going after that ever since and my love for space has just snowballed. I’ve learned so much more about the importance of going, which has made me love space even more.
How is it to be the youngest astronaut in training and how is your day like? (AC) The train I’ve done so far and everything that actually worked towards at this point, all of my training that I’ve done has been through a private system science organisation called Project PoSSUM although they’re not necessarily training astronauts, of the research that they’re doing can actually relate certain skills to what astronauts might be doing. With them I’ve been able to do microgravity flights, research training, g-force, decompression and water survival all those crazy things and so all of those skills have been super crazy to actually do so usually when I have a training going on I usually go to wherever it’s located for typically about a week and that’s really all we do for the whole week. A day in training, it’s long days and pretty intense usually. It’s all in the name of research so we’ll usually start pretty early on get all of the research down and get everything prepared and then do whatever we need to do. It’s super super fun. I love what I do and I’ve been so grateful to be able to start doing it from such a young age but definitely it’s all about getting as much research as we possibly can and also living in the moment and appreciating the experience.
“The trainings can be pretty physical like the water survival training, definitely they have been challenging at moments but it definitely has been worth it.”
What is the most challenging part being a young astronaut? (AC) The most challenging part I would say of what I’ve done so far definitely is time management just being able to balance all the stuff I want to do in terms of space, along with school, along with any training that I want to do that kind of thing. So it’s been crazy to balance everything and then also some of the trainings can be pretty physical like the water survival training the definitely they have been challenging at moments but it definitely has been worth it. I’ve absolutely loved everything and I’ve basically worked to find better time management and get as much done in a day as I possibly can.
“A single plant species will become extinct and I do think Mars is that first baby step in us understanding how to travel to other planets.”
Why is Mars so important?
(AC) I definitely do believe that going to Mars is something super important for us. They’ve said that a single plant species will become extinct and I do think Mars is that first baby step in us understanding how to travel to other planets. Mars has so many opportunities that we just don’t fully comprehend yet. And I think that getting to Mars is that next step of understanding that hopefully on the mission to Mars we can learn more about the water the resources the atmosphere with opportunities are with Mars and also with getting to Mars we’re developing so many other technologies that we eventually develop and use for everyday life. So we’re creating more technology on earth. Also the amount of job opportunities that there are because of the space program there are just so many benefits to us actually going to Mars.
How do you see the future of space travelling? (AC) I do see us eventually getting to Mars hopefully in the early 2030s but I definitely don’t see it stopping there. I don’t necessarily want it to stop with Mars. Obviously Mars is the next step in the space program but hopefully after that there will be another kid with a dream to go to a Moon or Jupiter or something like that and we’ll continue exploring our solar system. There is so much of the universe that we haven’t explored. So I’d love to see in the future space traveling as continuing to do that. We’ll get to Mars and will accomplish as much as we can while we’re there. There’s ideas of colonisation and possibly turn it into a second earth which would be absolutely amazing. I definitely doesn’t stop with Mars and I can’t wait to see the space program continue even further than that.
What other subjects are you interested in these days? (AC) Obviously space is a huge part of my life but it’s definitely not the only part of my life. I’m a college student at the same time. I played competitive soccer for 10 years and I’m still super into soccer. Soccer is definitely a big passion of mine. Also I’m a huge Netflix person and I love watching shows and I kind of think anytime that I can. Although space and science takes up a big part of my life I am just a normal teenager as well (Laugh). I do everything that a normal teenager would, not too different from most kids I suppose.