NASA’s Project Possum features teen astronaut


NASA logo, which is the agency sponsoring Project Possum.

Emily Ryan, Editor

Alyssa Carson is an 18-year-old astronaut and is known as one of the few astronauts that are planning on going to Mars, and has only been focusing on furthering her career since a child. 

Ever since Carson was just 3, her goal was to be a part of NASA research. 

She first had the most media attention when she was around the age of 12, and had already attended a handful of space camps, and was part of several shuttle launches. 

She made it a point to invest all her work into NASA, and by the time she graduated from the Advanced Space Academy, she had finished all seven of NASA’s space camps and was certified in applied astronautics where she could go and do research out in space.  

It has been a rumor for a while now that Carson is training for a trip to Mars in 2030, but technically she has been her whole life. All of her training has been just preparation to research the Earth and planets from outer space. 

Carsons’ time with NASA has been full of so many opportunities for her and because she started at such a young age, she was able to have more faith in herself in making these big decisions for her career. This showed her that if she could start young, then she would be able to obtain the dream she’s been wishing for even better by making it her priority every day, just like we do with school. 

Although she is also interested in going to Mars, she wanted to be able to set reachable goals for herself to be able to grasp the idea of researching Mars. 

So yes, she is wishing to go to Mars, but her wish was to reach the requirements to be able to reach her biggest goal. 

Carson has said before that working hard will help you achieve your goal then even greater ones, and to not let anyone influence you to do anything other than that. All of her motivation came from her love of space, and the research that came with it to understand them. 

Project Possum is an astronautics research and education program studying our upper-atmosphere and its role in our changing global climate, and through this program, Alyssa was able to learn plenty of skills to help her through her career and want of going to Mars.