Alyssa Carson is anything but the average 13-year-old. In fact, she’s anything but average when it comes to just reaching her teenage years. That’s what makes her claim about being the first human to reach Mars, and walk on the planet, even more impressive.

However, after an interview with the BBC, it became clear that her dreams were anything but something just dreamt up the night before. When Carson was 4-years-old, she began “training,” to be the first person to reach Mars. And that ambition didn’t die over the years, it only invigorated.

“As I get older, and I continue to do more things the resume will just eventually get longer.” 13-year-olds don’t typically think about, much less, talk about resumes – or how they will appear down the line – but this is an absolutely rare exception.

Her attitude, and her drive toward this seemingly cosmic goal isn’t something that NASA isn’t taking seriously, either. Carson has been to NASA’s Space Academy three times in her life, she has a running and currently maintained website to chronicle her ambitions – which are well-planned, by the way – and can speak Spanish, French, and Chinese fluently.

She has more than just an impressive resume and lofty goals though, at age 13. She’s intelligent and is wise far beyond her years. She’s already given a Ted talk in Greece and will soon be appearing on Jeopardy.

However, science is helping Carson’s dream become a reality with something called therapeutic hypothermia. According to scientists, this will be the method by which astronauts reach Mars, which takes 6-months to travel to.

Scientists have actually developed a pretty steadfast approach for this type of scenario, too. Assuming three individuals made the voyage to Mars, the scenario scientists point out would include two of the individuals remaining in a state of hibernation, or therapeutic hypothermia – rendering them unconscious, but physically maintained, while one individual was awake to maintain emails, manage the craft, and make sure the other two individuals would remain physically alive.

The three of them would rotate which individual would be awake, never staying conscious for too long. This will make the trip more affordable, and more easily maintained, scientists contend. They also believe that this will be available in the next 30 years, and that fits almost perfectly in line with what Carson’s goal is. She says that she will be on Mars by 2033.

Now, it becomes a race between Carson, and NASA to see who will be right with a human reaching Mars.


  1. Yawn….has she read that 30% of the Earth’s water is older than the Sun? How about that Mars looks amazingly like Arizona? If she’s looking for life, we have it in abundance on Earth….water too. What we need are less space travelers and more intelligent humans who value Earth and will come up with solutions to ensure our survival on this planet. Other than that, it’s all pipedreams, gimmicks and more space junk on a planet which provides no life-saving resources for free.

    • Maybe I’ve missed something while I was reading, but I didn’t see anything mentioning water, or life, or the visual appearance of Mars. NASA shares the technology they develop, fund, or pioneer for use in space with the rest of the world. They have a nice list going some of the items are LED’s, Artificial Limbs, Invisible Braces, Firefighting equipment, Solar Cells, Pollution removal. There’s more, but you get the point. All of these help with our ‘survival’ on this planet and these are only the items developed for the Earth/Moon system. If you can just imagine what technologies may come from expanding our reach planet might bring.

  2. not trying to be rude , but her chances of reaching mars and returning are very minimal , first of all , the round trip would be over a year , which would take a estimated 420 tons to reach , secondly , how would she get back if at all ? there is no rebuilt launch station at mars .

    • There may not be a return mission, not at first. Mars contains water which can be converted into Hydrogen fuel and used as a propellant. The first couple missions can be designed to bring a mining and relaunch system on Mar’s surface. Or better yet make the mining system on the Moon and shoot the fuel into Mar’s orbit so it’ll me waiting for them.

      • In 1989 would you have thought anyone believed we would not have gotten a person out of low earth orbit in the next 30 years?

  3. I will happily give $10, maybe more, to help her get there.

    If everyone in the US gives $10, can she get there securely on $3.3billion?

    • Perhaps she should learn to speak Hindi as well. The Indians did a Mars satellite for nearly nothing.

      I don’t mean to lowball, I support the idea. If it takes $40, and the mission is legitimate to go, you got it.

  4. I like the concept of NASA at least trying to pay some of their own way. In fact space has real financial benefits for all of us humans. The moon is full of Helium ,3 which desperately needs to be mined. Helium 3, will most likely be the supply of energy for the next 1000 years. Asteroid mining has an awesome potential. One large comet could end the Sierra Desert and make it into a great lake. It’s worth would be more than the United States GNP. Not to mention depleted metals such as tantalum just waiting to be mined from the asteroid belt. The list goes on and on. All of it this is exciting to me. But a little girl who’s vision is stunted by a glory ride to mars, is missing the real exciting productive sides of science and engineering. Mars is not the big resource to focus on in the first place. Better to focus on the Moon, Callisto, Titan, and other solar system bodies for mankind’s benefit. Mars with it’s “super ferris oxide”, is somewhat nasty toxic mess and is a bad target for future space programs. NASA and Space Camp focus way too much on space for the sake of space. Science does not need to be a big orgasimic ride to intrest kids. Very simple principles can be demonstrated to a child to culture their talents in science and technology. Sometimes the truth is hidden in plain sight. Albert Einstein’s career was started with the simple mystery of the action in his Dad’s compass.

    • I agree. Asteroid mining is probably going to be how humans really start embracing space. Most asteroids are rich with platinum group metals, which can easily pay for initial investments in a few years. My vision is the have asteroids to mine and planets and moons for food and fuel production, that makes the most sense to me.

    • If done right, a mission to mars is a driver for the infrastructure you want for other things. A mars mission should assemble the vessel for travel to mars in orbit; it should acquire fuel for the trip from mined asteroids; it should provide a goal that provides a steady stream of rocket launches to drive down launch costs. Mars is only a goal to the extent it will provide reusable infrastructure.

  5. I fully support her and sincerely hope that her passion rubs off on Nasa and our politicians. But at this rate, I personally think it highly unlikely that that even in 2033 Nasa will be sending any manned missions to mars; let alone any time before that. Given the ironic idiocy of their funding trajectory the last 30 years, I think many a private endeavor will land a manned mission on Mars first. If anyone needs evidence to understand my point, then just look at history. We stopped exploring the moon, made several plans to go back and then canceled them, canceled the shuttle program and (currently still) opted for the old capsule design to supposedly take people into low orbit again while NASA relies upon the Russians to get to the ISS. I wasn’t even alive yet for a decade to come when the last Apollo moon landings happened, and now I am approaching my mid-30s. I have never had the privilege to see have witnessed anything but an historical mission where humankind landed on another planetary body. At best, it’s been a bunch of robots sent to Mars and I have a feeling that is how it’s going to be with Nasa until 50+ years from now… Maybe more…


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