17-year-old Aspiring Astronaut

04 March, 2019

((Banner: Life in Outer Space))
Elena Wolf))
Artyom Kokhan))
((Adapted by:
Martin Secrest))
Baton Rouge, Louisiana))
17 year-old Alyssa Carson wants to go to Mars))
((Alyssa Carson, Aspiring Astronaut))

Well, I first got interested in wanting to become an astronaut from watching a cartoon called the Backyardigans when I was around three years old. And basically on the show, the characters went on these imaginary missions to Mars. I wanted to be like one of their friends and go with them, and I started asking my dad all these questions, and basically just kept asking for videos, pictures and books and anything I could find about space and Mars.
((Bert Carson, Alyssa’s Father))

I’m just of that nature that I believe that parents should support their children in whatever their dreams are. It doesn’t matter if it changes a thousand times. It doesn’t matter how crazy it is, because it doesn’t get any crazier than what my kid is dreaming. And you know, there’s a great potential that she’s probably going to leave this planet. Because you have to look at this. You say, is she too young to be doing some of this stuff? You know, every kid out there, if they’re wanting to do whatever career it is, you know, there’s people out there’s been getting pilot licenses and doing flying lessons. I mean, there’s eight and nine year-olds doing this. So, I mean, to be 17 and getting a pilot’s license I don’t think is that young at all. As far as her going off into space, like I said, space is a very dangerous thing. All it wants to do is kill you. So, you know, I worry about that, but on the other side of that, she has educated me to show how important it is for us to leave this planet for the survival of the human species, and so it’s bigger than the two of us, and so I just have to let her go and I have to let her live her dream.
((Alyssa Carson, Aspiring Astronaut))

Not really. We don’t have like a ‘space school.’ The weird thing, you know, about being an astronaut and things like that, is you kind of have to have a job to be an astronaut as a job.
((Alyssa Carson, Aspiring Astronaut))

You know, as you’ve seen, I enjoy going out and speaking to girls and inspiring them to follow their own goals, and also, you know, advocating for, you know, the mission to Mars in general. It is reasonable for us to go, just because we have the technologies to get there. We have all the components, and in 15 years, it’s 2033, which is the projected year for a mission to Mars. I hope to be a part of that mission and going off to Mars and working in the field of astrobiology and hopefully finding something interesting on Mars.