Most 20-year-olds care about whether their acrylics look on fleek and who’s getting the next round of tequilas in, right?! Wrong!
Alyssa Carson is living proof that stereotyping not only young people, but females too, could not be further from the truth.
She is, in her own three words, a ‘future Mars walker’.
While she is not affiliated with NASA (yet), she is an astronaut in training and dreams of becoming the first person ever to step foot on Earth’s neighbouring red planet.
Back in 2014, Alyssa became the first person to complete the NASA Passport Program, visiting each of NASA’s visitor centres (14 in total) across nine states in America.
She then quirkily branded herself the ‘NASA blueberry’, due to the colour of the spacesuits, and her star has been rising ever since with a casual 550k-strong Instagram army.
Not only is she striving to document her own journey, but also show other young people that anything is possible, especially females as 90% of astronauts are currently male.
Alyssa’s fascination with space began at the grand old age of three, when she announced to her dad, “I want to be an astronaut and be one of the people that goes to Mars.”
Little did he know that this seemingly offhand statement would actually become the birth of a meaningful lifelong endeavour.
Her list of credentials is already impressively long, with perhaps the most glittering accolade being the fact that Alyssa is the youngest person ever to graduate from the Advanced Possum Academy, officially making her certified to become an astronaut trainee.
Speaking about her dreams, Alyssa said her eyes are wide open that it’s far from an easy process, but that she will do anything it takes to get there.
Alyssa said: “To be able to actually apply as an astronaut, I need a master’s degree and then some work experience. It’s pretty tough competition.
“If you aren’t selected, it may have nothing to do with your resume or anything about you, there’s a lot of stuff that goes into the consideration of it.”
She added: “Typically, 18,000 people apply, and only about 12 to 20 people get selected.”
Alyssa is also keen to shine a light on different opportunities within the space industry, stressing that not every role has to involve being on the spacecraft itself.
Chatting to Hack, she added: “I was talking to a group of middle school girls, and one of them was like, ‘Hey, I love science in space, but I also love fashion, can I design spacesuits?’
“I said of course you can! That’s definitely something you can go into, maybe making the next futuristic trendy spacesuit. The spacesuits that SpaceX recently started using were actually designed by someone who typically designed superhero costumes.”
Now that we would love to see strutting down the Fashion Week catwalk.