There aren't many teenagers like Alyssa Carson from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At the age of 18, she is the world's youngest astronaut-in-training and already has three TEDx Talks under her space belt. Carson has also teamed up with Horizn Studios, a British-based travel brand, to help create the first-ever line of space luggage, as well as a limited-edition smart suitcase that will be released on July 19, timed to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
If Carson has her way, this wunderkind will be the first human to step foot on Mars. Carson set her sights on space when she was a mere 3-years-old, after seeing The Backyardigans, a cartoon about a group of friends who went on imaginary adventures.
"They had an episode called Mission to Mars and were asking questions about space, about Mars, if people are already on Mars," says Carson, who says that while her family doesn't have a background in science, they supported her curiosity. "My dad remembers me coming and asking him questions about space and Mars. He told me a little about the moon landings and it sparked an interest."