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Alyssa carson

Astronaut in training

 

And - Youngest recruit to enter and graduate from the Advanced Possum Academy, Project PoSSUM.

There is never a dream that is too crazy or too unachievable.

What do you do?

"My ultimate goal that I am working towards is being an astrobiologist on one of the first missions to Mars."

I am Astronaut Trainee with Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) in Louisiana. I am currently doing trainings and classes in order to build a resume for when I apply to the astronaut selection program in the future.

 

The classes I have taken, besides my normal high school courses, are master level classes in space atmosphere, space physiology, and research studies. The trainings that I have accomplished so far include microgravity, g force, space suit, water survival, and decompression. All of these classes and trainings have led to a certification for suborbital flight. 

Why did you choose this field?

"My hopes of being an astronaut never went away."

I first got interested in the idea and dream of becoming an astronaut and go to Mars when I was three years old. I was watching an episode of The Backyardigans where the characters went on an imaginary adventure to Mars. Since that moment I was always fascinated with space.

When I was 9 years old I met astronaut Sandra Magnus and she told me that she decided to become an astronaut at 9. This really inspired me that I could decide what I wanted to do and eventually achieve my dream.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

It's alright to have big dreams, because one day they are possible.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love working in STEM being I feel like new discoveries are actually being made and that I have an impact on that. I also love the curiosity of everything. The idea of going to Mars and being a part of that is simply amazing. All of the technology that will be developed, the science that will be conducted on the planet, and the strides it will make for us to explore further space exploration. 

Best advice for the next generation

If there is something that you are passionate about then you can achieve that goal. There is never a dream that is too crazy or too unachievable for them to achieve. Find a dream and never let anyone take it away from you. 

Inspo quote

"Find a dream and work hard towards it."