'NASA Blueberry'

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Carson is a general aviation pilot who hopes to continue her training and eventually get her instrument rating, along with many other accomplishments she has her sights set on. Currently a freshman at the Florida Institute of Technology, studying astrobiology, Carson is doing everything she can to make sure the stars align. And with so much ambition at such a young age, it will be an exciting adventure to watch as she continues her journey to hopefully join the ranks of some of her idols.

According to her NASA Blueberry website, “At just 19 years old, Alyssa’s list of accomplishments include witnessing 3 Space Shuttle launches, attending Space Camp 7 times, Space Academy 3 times, Robotics Academy once, youngest to graduate Advanced Space Academy, and multiple Sally Ride Camps.” (Carson got the nickname “Blueberry” at space camp because her flight suit was a deeper blue than other flight suits; the name stuck and her father launched a NASA Blueberry Facebook page to keep her family updated on her adventures.)

Carson never stopped reaching for the stars and “in 2012 and 2013, she furthered her education at Space Camp Turkey and Space Camp Canada, becoming the first person to attend all three NASA Space Camps in the world. Alyssa is also the first to complete the NASA Passport program, visiting all 14 NASA Visitor’s Centers stretching across 9 states.” And if that wasn’t enough, “in January 2013, NASA invited her to be on the MER 10 panel in Washington DC to discuss future missions to Mars live on NASA TV. She was later selected as one of seven ambassadors representing Mars One, a mission to establish a human colony on Mars in 2030. In October of 2016 Alyssa was the youngest to be accepted and graduate the Advanced Possum Academy, officially making her certified to go to space and an astronaut trainee.”

AOPA checked in with Carson to find out what inspires her and how she is working toward achieving her dreams, and hopes others are inspired to do the same.

What made you decide at such a young age you wanted to become an astronaut?

I was watching a cartoon where the characters went to Mars and it was then that I decided I wanted to one day go to a planet to which no one had been.

What did you enjoy most about all the space camps and academies

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