Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! Interview with Alyssa Carson

By Victoria Feng, Editor-in-Chief


Alyssa Carson is a 17 year old who many say will be one of the first people to go to Mars.  Alyssa has already trained to become an astronaut through civilian training programs, and hopes to be sent by NASA in 10-20 years on a mission to Mars.  She has actively participated in multiple NASA programs.

Amazing Kids (AK): What inspired you to want to become an astronaut?

Alyssa Carson (AC): I got inspired to become an astronaut from watching a cartoon called The Backyardigans and basically what the show is these characters who go on these imaginary adventures in their backyard and one of the episodes they had a mission to Mars.  And so after watching them I wanted be like one of their friends and go with them to Mars. I started asked my dad all these questions about space and Mars but he didn’t know too much about it.  So I started asking for books and videos and DVDs and my passion and all my questions about space and were went away.

AK: What do you work on in preparation to become an astronaut?

AC: The work that I’m currently doing to prepare to become an astronaut is through a citizen science group called Possum Academy which stands for polar suborbital science in the upper mesosphere and they are working on studying a cloud in the upper atmosphere and prepare for suborbital flight.  So with them I’ve been able to get suborbital flight training and actually be certified to do so orbital flight.  And I’m doing microgravity training, space training decompression training, water survival training for training, and also taking classes in space physiology, space atmosphere, and research studies.

AK: Why is it important to explore space, particularly Mars?

AC: I think it’s important that we continue to explore space especially Mars just because Mars really is the next place we can explore and can go and they can encourage future space exploration and further space exploration and really we’ve already been conducting research. We’ve already been curious about for some time now. So it’s about continuing that and see what we can find. And I believe that going to Mars can develop technologies and find research that will benefit everyone here back on Earth.

AK: Who has inspired you the most?

AC: When I was around 9 years old I met astronaut Sandra Magnus and she really inspired me when I got to meet her. I just started asking her you know why did she decide come an astronaut when did she decide to become an astronaut. And she told me when she was around 9 is when she decided to become an astronaut. And hearing that I just felt inspired and thought and it really showed me that you can decide what you want to do at a young age and eventually grow up and fulfill your goals. So kind of just inspired me to keep pushing and keep going.

AK: How have you worked with NASA in hopes of becoming an astronaut for them?

AC: I haven’t really done any of my training with NASA all my training has been through Project PoSSUM. I mean I’ve gone to space camp and things like that. And Space Camp is an official NASA’s Space Camp. But that is open to anybody who wants to go. The only other connections I have there NASA as I visited visitor centers and things like that. Many people work there. And I’ve also spoken on a panel of future missions tomorrow on the 20 30’s when I was 12. But aside from that I haven’t done any trainings.

AK: What do you view as your greatest accomplishment?

AC: I would say my current greatest accomplishment is me getting certified for suborbital flight just because that’s such a huge step. So I’m currently taking all the classes and training to actually be on a suborbital flight and that’s super cool and super outstanding to my age and I’m really proud of myself for all the things I’ve done to get there. So that would definitely be my greatest accomplishment.

AK: What advice would you give to our readers about following their dreams and making a difference?

AC: You know if you have a dream if you have a goal really just follow your dream and never let anyone take it away from you.  You know start talking about your dreams or your goals- you never really know what opportunities are going to come. Who somebody else may know. So really just tell everyone about what you want to do. And also you know starting your local area see what’s around you and then expand from there.  And hopefully even find someone who has the job you’re wanting to get.

AK: What are your goals for the future?

AC: My ultimate goal in the future would be to become an astrobiologist. And be able to study soil samples, water samples, and the history of Mars on a flight actually to Mars and being able to draw that research firsthand.

AK: Do you have anything else to add?

AC: Not necessarily, just we are the Mars Generation and everyone follow your dreams.