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Is NASA a 17-year-old girl trained to become an astronaut?



CLAIM

A 17-year-old girl named Alyssa Carson trained as an astronaut by NASA.

RATING

WHAT IS TRUE

17-year-old Alyssa Carson participated in several NASA space camps, graduated from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's "Passport to Explore Space" program and expressed a desire to participate in a mission to Mars.

WHAT'S WRONG

Carson does not train – or is prepared by NASA to become an astronaut or participate in the first human mission to Mars.

ORIGIN

1

7-year-old Alyssa Carson has drawn media attention to her determination to be part of a space mission to Mars. But although her request was recognized by NASA, she does not officially train with this organization to become an astronaut or join the first human mission to Mars.

Carson began media attention when she was 12, by which time she had already visited three different space shuttle launches and participated in NASA space camps in three different countries. She was also the first person to complete the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's "Passport to Explore Space" program, which requires the visit of 14 NASA visitor centers in nine different US states. However, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is funded by a NASA contractor and is not funded by the agency itself.

The completion of the Passport to Explore Space program also prompted Carson to participate in an event hosted by NASA and the Smithsonian, and Rover spent ten years exploring Mars Exploration. In addition, Carson has its own call sign, "Blueberry".

However, a NASA spokesman confirmed that Carson is currently not trained or "prepared" by this agency, as some reports suggest. Unlike some reports, NASA's Astronaut Candidate Program has no age requirement for applications, although, according to the agency, "Astronaut candidates in the past were between 26 and 46 years old, with an average age of 34 years."

In December 2017, President Donald Trump signed the White House 1 Space Policy, which, according to his government, would lay the foundation for a mission to Mars. Carson's father, Bert, told Teen Vogue that private companies have "considered" sending them on missions – though not to Mars.

"If we can find a mission for her in the next two years, she will be the first child in the world to go into space," he said. "If we can do it before she turns 20, she'll be the first teenager."

A private group, Mars One, has already selected Carson as one of their ambassadors. Carson wrote on the group's website about her interest in visiting the Red Planet:

I would like to go to Mars because it's a planet no one has ever seen before. It's about the size of Earth and there are ice caps on the top and bottom of Mars. This means that there is water on Mars. This could possibly be our next earth. Just think of all the things that are in space. For example: planets we've never explored, galaxies we've never heard of, stars that are just babies, black holes that are as wide as the Sun to Pluto and have the mass of a billion suns, parts of the universe we have never seen. Just think about all those things that just float around. It's more than you can imagine.


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