7 Year Old Sends Letter to NASA…and NASA Writes Back!

NASA is easily the most awesome government agency. I think we can all agree on that.

The evidence? An adorable seven-year-old boy in England wrote to NASA, and NASA actually wrote back, encouraging him to follow his dreams.

The hand-written letter, from a boy named Dexter, reads:

“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 have to do to become an astronaut?

Thank you

Dexter”

(I’m not crying. It’s just got really dusty in here).

That super sweet letter isn’t where this stops, though, because NASA wrote back and, along with the letter, sent some stickers and posters. The letter back was a full page and encourages Dexter to keep his grades up and to keep “reaching for the stars.”

OK, that’s it. My seven-year-old self is bawling. What am I saying? My current, 29-year-old self is bawling.

When I was a kid, I was a little space crazy. I read every book I could on the United States space program. I used poster board and made cutouts of every manned spaceship the US ever produced (except Skylab, because FAIL). I celebrated the day Apollo 11 landed on the moon. I had a telescope. My wallpaper had constellations and planets on it. (Which, by the way, my parents put up upside down. They tried to pull the old “there’s no up or down in space” excuse. Sorry, Mom and Dad. You goofed.)

Come to think of it, I’m still a little space crazy. I use glow in the dark stars to create constellations on my living room wall, I never miss a meeting of my amateur astronomy group, and I have an actual, grown-up telescope so I can look at planets and the moon and star clusters on the reg.

What I’m saying is, space is awesome. It’s a gateway science. It has everything. Physics, chemistry, biology and geology. All of these sciences are relevant when studying space. Once you’re hooked on space, you can never learn enough. Trust me. I know. Even today, when I read about some new piece of information about the super massive black hole at the center of our galaxy or the discovery of an extrasolar planet, it takes my breathe away.

When people ask me what the point of a space program is, that is what I tell them. I was Dexter. Millions of kids around the world are Dexter. This is a good thing. Astronauts and engineers are the 21st century explorers. It’s easy to get caught up in our own little lives on our own little planet in a backwater arm of a galaxy that isn’t even the biggest and baddest in the neighborhood. Space exploration gives us a reason to dream of a better world. NASA, after all, is responsible for approximately a bajillion things we use every single day.

Dream on, Dexter. With kids like you, I know we’ll reach the stars someday.

Image credit: Imgur

Photo Credit: kattybopatty via imgur

224 comments

K H.
K H.2 years ago

cute

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Jajaj cool!

Loesje vB
Loesje Najoan3 years ago

Nasa is awesome and Dexter is a fantastic kid. Keep dreaming, I hope your dreams come true.
Thanks for sharing.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener3 years ago

I'm really happy for Dexter!

HELEN V.
Star S.3 years ago

Very pleasing to see one organization which cares. I suppose that if you work in an organization which focuses so much on the universe, you probably have a greater respect for life than some other of our other fellow human beings, although I personally believe that human beings are inately good, but have just forgotten how to care.

Chandra K.
Paula P.3 years ago

Aaww...

Diana S.
Diana S.3 years ago

NASA just plain ROCKS, and always has! I sent away for a way-cool (FREE!) poster some years ago, and they are always sending freebies to people willing to drop them a note, I get regular feeds in my email from NASA, which helps me stay on top of what's going on in the universe around me.

That's how I found out about the Cassini explorer craft taking photos of the Earth through the rings of Saturn this past Friday (July 19), at around 2:25pm Pacific time. They sent an invite for us North American earthlings (they figured out that was where the photo would be focused) to "photobomb" the pic by going outside, facing east, looking up, and waving!

Yes, NASA knew that the resolution probably wouldn't show all of us smiling and waving, due to the sheer distance, but what an AWESOME idea that someone at our National Space Agency came up with!!!

Mary P.
Mary Pagay3 years ago

You know what? I'm not surprised. When I was a little girl (many years ago), I wrote to NASA and told them that my biggest dream was to become an astronaut. And, I asked them how I can do that. It seemed like a long time me that I didn't hear back from them ... but, one day there was a package addressed to me from ... none other than the folks at NASA. I anxiously opened it to find a box of kid's scientific magazines and a personal letter to me thanking me for my interest in the space program. They said that I could be astronaut one day and the way to do it is to keep up my interest in science, stay in school, and get good grades. I never forgot that wonderful moment when the Keepers of the Universe took the time to send a little kid with a big dream the biggest gift of all ... HOPE! :) Thank you NASA!!

Edgar Zuim
Edgar Zuim3 years ago

Wow. We must never give up our dreams. Congratulations NASA.

Tania S.
Tania S.3 years ago

That is sweet.