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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Maher

Avalon, a small town where big things happen! Alyssa Carson is the next big thing!

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

The destiny of humanity is in the stars, and Alyssa Carson, a space enthusiast had given a presentation about the benefits of space exploration and the “Mars Generation,” the space industry and what to expect in the future at the Catalina Island Museum last Thursday Aug 19 in the Ackerman Family Theatre at around 8 pm. Before her presentation, the Bierman Brothers played live music and their original song “One way ticket to Mars.” Vezer Wine was also served complimentary during the presentation.

Alyssa Carson aka “Blueberry,” has been training since she was a child to become qualified for NASA’s mission to Mars and to be accepted into the Mars Dune Alpha, which is a program to teach humans how to live on Mars. It is a year-long program where participants, 30 - 55 will be locked in a ‘staritect-designed habitat’ that will help them adapt to living on Mars. She is now 20 and hopes to be in training for a mission to mars in 2033.

Carson goes by the name Blueberry because that was her nickname as a child because of the blue color of the astronaut uniform that she would wear. Carson had profound ambition as a young child to pursue space, making her become a leader of the Mars Generation. She inspires young people to engage in the future of space exploration, especially females, because space exploration will help humanity evolve technologically and culturally.

Carson is working towards her Masters Degree and is studying Astrobiology, which is the biological science of space. Carson is looking forward to potentially one day finding bacterial life on mars. She is an official Aquanaut, having spent 25 hours under the ocean! As a diver myself, I think that is incredible! While visiting the island, Carson was diving Avalon’s oceans with Jon Council, underwater historian, and veteran. He is also the president of the Historical Diving Society and runs the Avalon Diving Exhibit in the Casino on the first floor, around the back near the dive park. The exhibit is worth visiting because inside you can see the evolution of diving equipment and how Catalina contributed to the dive industry.

Carson is also a skydiver and has experienced microgravity and can pull 9-Gs in a jet. She also went to space camp every year when she was growing up. “It is a lot of fun to be weightless” says Carson, and she is right! Diving is a form of weightlessness, and it truly is a lot of fun! It changed my life because it gave me a new appreciation of the aquatic environment.

Carson stands out as a leader in the Mars Generation because she gives a new approach to inspiring the youth to learn more about space exploration. Carson says, "You do not have to love science and math to work in the space industry. The space industry is booming and there are new careers to pursue, such as space flight attendants for commercialized space travel, a space suit designer, space nutritionist or journalist. Thinking about these jobs is important for our youth, especially girls because most loose interest at the age of 15. There are ways to interest females in the space industry by encouraging them to explore different areas in the space industry,” says Carson.

“We have the capability and technology to get to Mars and explore space. Some of the new things in the space industry include NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System), is the newest rocket being built. Inside the Orion Capsule is where the astronauts are kept after the SLS detaches from the Capsule. NASA’s goal is to go back to the moon in 2024 or 25, then eventually on to Mars in the 2030’s. There are already a few astronauts selected for the mission to the moon. Also, the new space telescope is being launched in November, the James Web Telescope, which is a better version of Hubble, it is going to be used for studying deep space, star nurseries and other galaxies,” says Carson

Space tourism is essential because it puts in perspective how earth protects us and it will give a greater appreciation for our planet. It will give people, “the overview effect,” a way to look back at the earth and realize there are no borders, and it is all one planet. “People will also see how small and thin our atmosphere really is! When you are in space it puts in perspective how earth protects us, and it will give a greater appreciation for our planet. Everyday people are going into space and orbiting earth. It is becoming more normal,” says Carson. "For example, SpaceX is offering commercial flights to both Earth and Lunar orbit."

During the questions and answers of the presentation, one guest asked the question, “Are you scared to go to space?”

“There are a lot of risks going to space,” Carson replies, “but the engineers working on the space shuttles put in everything they can into making space exploration safe, which makes me secure about the idea of going into space.”

Humanity must achieve a common goal, and that goal is space exploration because it will help humanity grow from its technological adolescence and we will steer our destiny away from destroying ourselves.

“Space Exploration benefits earth because it offers new science of what we discover. If we can terraform Mars, it can be a second home for people to live on. It would be a long-term process, but it would prepare future generations as the population continues to rise. When we terraform Mars, we may learn how to clean Mar’s atmosphere and, in the process, help to clean the Earth’s atmosphere. Growing food on Mars, if we learn how to grow food on a place that is inhospitable like Mars, maybe we can learn how to grow food on Earth more efficiently. There can be a lot of connections between Mars and Earth and space travel is a cool way to push us outside the box, and to think within the realms of the evolution of our planet and to realize most of our technology was originally intended for the use of space travel and that is the benefit that space exploration brings to the future,” says Carson.

Space is in our future and Alyssa Carson is very brave to pursue an adventure into space. She inspires me to continue traveling and to promote diving around the world. Traveling also gives you “the overview effect,” and diving is a good way to prepare for that weightless feeling that you experience when exploring space!

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