Alyssa Carson took her childhood dream of space travel to a different level. Today, the 18-year-old Baton Rouge native is the youngest astronaut-in-training and is preparing to be the first human on Mars.

Carson is a college freshman studying Astrobiology at Florida Tech. At 15, she is the youngest person ever to be admitted into the prestigious Advanced PoSSUM Space Academy. While there, she became accredited in applied astronautics, enabling her to do a sub-orbital study flight and travel into the cosmos.

But Carson didn’t stop there. Her newest venture was designing the world’s first bag for space travel called the Horizn ONE luggage line.

The new space-friendly luggage line

Collaborating with Berlin-based travel brand, Horizn Studios, Carson has produced visual models for the Horizn ONE luggage line, which will be ready for possession around 2030, which is around the time NASA expects it will begin human missions to Mars.

Last summer, Horizn issued Carson’s first product: the Limited Edition Cabin Trolley, a sleek, NASA-approved bag that incorporates a built-in smart battery charger, 360-degree spinner wheels and an aerospace-grade polycarbonate hard case.

Also Read: Astronaut Christina Koch Returns After Record Breaking Spaceflight

Space tourism

Carson said while talking to The Network, “I believe by breaking age barriers; I helped PoSSUM recognise that younger children could offer just as much to their research”.  She also stated that it was an exciting concept. “But we’re also a lot closer to space tourism, becoming an actuality than most people understand. It was fun to think about what needs someone might bring with them to space, largely because opening flights to space might only be six hours.”

“There were a lot of parts we had to record when creating, like the flexibleness and foldability of the bags and how to maximise the space inside of it while keeping it light and simple to keep things. I also wanted people to be able to call their families when they’re up in space”, she added.

I believe by breaking age barriers; I helped PoSSUM recognise that younger children could offer just as much to their research.

Advice to young girls wanting to pursue careers in STEM

She further spoke about the lack of representation of women in the space industry. However, she said that NASA is starting to select astronaut classes that are half male and half female. “It takes tens of thousands of people to send one person to space. But there’s still a lack of female representation across all these jobs, not just astronauts, but scientists, engineers.”

“Visit science museums and to camps in your local region. Find a professional you might want to ask for guidance. Also, speak about your dreams honestly and often; you never know who somebody else knows and what possibilities can come from that”, Carson added.

Also Read: Meet Seetha Somasundaram, ISRO’s Space Instrumentation Expert

Image: Ben Carson

Saumya Rastogi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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