Dexter, 7, sent NASA a letter saying how he wanted to become an astronaut and travel to Mars. The space agency responded in kind, offering Dexter some knowledge while giving him a few gifts in a letter that has gone viral.
Dexter’s mother posted NASA’s response on Reddit. In Dexter’s original letter, the boy says, “My name is Dexter, and I heard that you are sending two people to Mars, and I would like to come, but I’m 7.” The boy says he would like to go to the Mars in the future and asks NASA what he would need to do to become an astronaut.
NASA replied, sending Dexter plenty of information about what it takes to be an astronaut. The space agency wrote, “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.” NASA also included photos of Mars and the Curiosity Rover, as well as a sticker of the International Space Station and a bookmark.
Responding to the flood of comments on Reddit, Dexter’s mother said, “It's his dream; he loves space, and I will always encourage his curiosity :) I hope his dream comes true; it would be pretty cool.”
An individual who works at the NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., said that letters sent in by young fans, like Dexter, are a source of pride for the agency. In a response in the original Reddit thread, the employee said, “I work at NASA HQ in D.C., and, whenever I visit the Public Outreach people, they have scans of these letters pinned to their cubicles. NASA eats this stuff up, because it reinforces the idea they they are doing good work.”
Dexter’s mom went on to thank the employee, saying NASA’s response went beyond her expectations and her son was excited when he saw the letter. “I was actually trying to keep him from being disappointed if he didn't get a response; I thought you guys would just be too busy. This sort of thing means the world to children and keeps their imagination and faith in the industry alive,” Dexter’s mom said.