Margaret Eby
October 10, 2014 2:13 pm

One young woman from Louisiana has made it her life mission to reach the red planet. She speaks Spanish, French, and Chinese, has been training to be an astronaut for nine years, and is the first person to have attended all three of NASA’s world space camps. And, oh yeah. She’s 13 years old.

The amazing Alyssa Carson is determined to be the first human on Mars. The BBC made a short film on the Baton Rouge teenager, in which she talks about exploring the planet because “it’s a place no one has been before. I have thought about possibly being other things but being an astronaut was always first on my list.”

And the best part? NASA is totally on board. “She is of the perfect age to one day become an astronaut and eventually travel to mars,” sad NASA’s Paul Foreman. “She is doing the right thing, she is doing the right training, taking all the right steps to actually become an astronaut.” Carson even has a NASA code name: Blueberry1.

“She’s looking at going on a mission to Mars in 2033,” said Carson’s dad, Bret “In 20 years I may not ever see her again. There are options out there where they go to Mars and don’t come back, and we’ve had those discussions, and if that’s the only option, she still wants to go.”

“I don’t want one obstacle in the way to stop me from going to Mars,” Carson said. “Failure is not an option.”

Over on Twitter, she’s been chronicling her non-stop training and commitment to the mission. In June, she gave a TED Talk in Greece, in July she posted of photo of herself at European Space Camp. Just yesterday, she was at a conference of astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center.

In her Ted Talk, Carson recalls how she decided to go to Mars at the ripe old age of 3. By age 8, she had won the top award at space camp. Since then, she’s back been to the Alabama-based camp 10 more times, and traveled overseas to other space camps, becoming the first person to complete all the NASA space camps in the world.

Out of 534 space travelers, only 57 have been women, making Carson’s intentions extra-amazing. Candidates have to undergo at least two years of training, which means that Carson is already very well prepared. It’s rare that someone gets started so young. We’re always looking for more female pioneers in science and engineering, so it’s purely awesome that Carson is already on track to make her mark.

(Images via)

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