Aspiring astronaut to make first visit to OC in special event

Blast Off Back-to-School to be held in Rossmoor on Aug. 10.

During an out-of-this-world educational experience for any student, aspiring astronaut Alyssa Carson will explain how STEAM skills can fuel dreams.

Alyssa Carson has been preparing to rocket into space since she was a toddler. Billed as the youngest astronaut in training, the 21-year-old American is blazing her own trail in a quest to be among the first humans to visit Mars.

“On a clear night, I love to look up at the sky and search for one specific planet. It looks as small as a dot. Some of you may call it the red planet or Mars. I call it home,” Carson told a crowd during a TedX talk.

Now she’s coming to share her inspiring story with local students during the Blast Off Back-to-School event to be held August 10 at Rush Park in Rossmoor.

Students and families from all over Orange County are invited to attend the event that will include a question-and-answer session with the audience. The first 100 kids to purchase tickets will get a free copy of Carson’s book, “So you want to be an Astronaut” that she will sign that evening.

Carson’s story includes her attending every Space Camp offered including ones overseas. She also completed the NASA Passport to Explore Space Program, visiting all 14 U.S. space centers.

She was on a NASA panel on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) mission, was selected as one of seven ambassadors for Mars One, a privately funded effort to establish a human colony on Mars, and was featured in the 2017 Netflix Documentary, “The Mars Generation.”

She’s currently an undergraduate studying astrobiology at the Florida Institute of Technology and a researcher at the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences with a focus on her big goal of seeing the red planet in person.

While on Earth, Carson is also on a mission to inspire young people to get excited about space and the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM). She shares her vision for the Mars Generation in speeches all over the world and to her more than 525,000 followers on Instagram.

In Blast Off Back-to-School, Carson will share her extraordinary experiences and advice with Orange County students thanks to media partners Spotlight Schools, The Event-News Enterprise and The Sun Newspapers.

The event will be held on August 10 at 5:00p.m. at Rush Park located at 3021 Blume Drive in Rossmoor.

Carson will explain how the future of the space economy is as vast as the universe. The opportunities for today’s kids to become tomorrow’s leaders in space are growing with the emergence of space tourism, NASA’s plans to return to the moon and ongoing efforts to further explore, and someday visit, Mars.

Get tickets and find out more information at or by scanning the QR code featured with this story.

Editor’s note: This article was written by the co-founder of Spotlight Schools, a media sponsor of this event.