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NASA, Reddit encourage 7-year-old Dexter Walters to seek space

Dexter Walters, a science-hungry young boy, wrote NASA that he was too young to apply for a trip to colonize Mars. NASA responded. His mother, surprised, posted it to Reddit where users offered their advice on how to encourage Dexter's appetite. 

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Dexter Walters' destination? Mars. This photo released by NASA shows a view of Mars that was stitched together by images taken by NASA’s Viking Orbiter spacecraft.

AP Photo/NASA

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Dexter Walters, a 7-year-old from Britain, heard earlier this year that a Dutch NGO was looking for applicants to start the first human colony on Mars. Fascinated by space, but too young to reasonably expect the agency to select him, Dexter decided to send NASA a handwritten letter (plus astronaut illustration).

"My name is Dexter I heard that you are one 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?"

 

Although Dexter's family didn't expect much in way of a response from NASA, to their good-natured surprise a response came. Dexter's mother posted photos of the original letter and NASA's response, which also came with a picture of Mars, the Curiosity Rover, stickers, and a bookmark, to the popular online link aggregating community Reddit

NASA's didn't say that Dexter's age would not be an issue, but encouraged him to continue learning about space programs. "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." 

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