NASA responds to a seven-year-old's request to go to Mars

Illustration for article titled NASA responds to a seven-year-old's request to go to Mars

A seven-year-old boy recently asked NASA for advice on how to become an astronaut. And because they're cool that way, the space agency responded in kind.

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The aspiring astronaut, a young English lad named Dexter, sent this hand-written request to NASA:

Dear NASA, My name is Dexter I heard that you are sending 2 people to Mars and I would like to come but I’m 7. So I can’t. I would like to come in the future. What do I need to do to become an astronaut?

Illustration for article titled NASA responds to a seven-year-old's request to go to Mars

To which NASA's Office of Communication responded:

Just think – in a few years, you could be one of the pioneers that may help lead the world's activities for better understanding of our earth and for exploring space.

Illustration for article titled NASA responds to a seven-year-old's request to go to Mars

In addition, NASA sent Dexter photographs of Mars, along with a sticker and a bookmark.

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Illustration for article titled NASA responds to a seven-year-old's request to go to Mars

TODAY reports:

NASA responds to hundreds of thousands of public inquiries each year on a variety of topics, said spokeswoman Lauren Worley. The agency received about 500 letters asking for more information about becoming an astronaut just last week, she added.

“But we especially enjoy responding to the letters we receive from young aspiring astronauts,” Worley told TODAY Moms in an email.

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[TODAY; photos via Imgur]

DISCUSSION

kjaggard
Ken

Dear George Dvorsky,

On behalf of all io9 reader, thank you for writing this post for us. io9 readers want you to know that your thoughts and ideas are important to us, and hope you will continue to read as much as you can about topics of interest to io9 readers. Just think - in a few years ...

yay for generic form letters that in no way suggest anyone took the time to read anything past the name and address on the envelope, let alone directly addressing the childs questions and hopes.

So they get hundreds of thousands of public inquiries each year. 500 letters about becoming an astronaut last week. You mean to tell me that NASA couldn't set up a letter sorting system that could classify just those letters from all the others, sort out the typed ones and analyse for common words or phrases to build a form letter and then use mechanical turk like services to have people check the work and maybe personalize the letters a little?