A seven-year-old boy from England wrote a letter to NASA asking to go to Mars and was elated to receive a heartfelt response that encouraged him to pursue his dreams of becoming an astronaut.
According to Daily Mail, the handwritten letter from Dexter Anderson reads “Dear NASA, My name is Dexter I heard that you are sending two people to Mars and I would like to come but I’m 7.”
After adding that he dreams of going to Mars when he is older, the boy then asks NASA for any advice about how to reach his goal.
NASA’s reply told Dexter that as long as he excels in math and science, he will most definitely have the opportunity to explore the red planet when he is older. They sent him a list of websites to go on for more information about becoming an astronaut in addition to a set of posters and stickers.
“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,” the letter read.
It closed by saying “Your interest in NASA is appreciated. NASA wishes you every success in earning good school grades and encourages you to keep reaching for the stars!”
Dexter’s mother, Katrina posted both letters on Reddit and they quickly achieved viral status.
“His initial reaction was shock,” Katrina told the Huffington Post. “He couldn’t believe he got a package that big from NASA, honestly I thought he’d only get a letter at best.”
“Then he excitedly tore open the letter somewhat carefully and read the letter out loud. He then looked at the pictures then put them in his room for safe keeping. He loves science and maths and after visiting the Kennedy Space Centre last year his interest has known no bounds!”
NASA’s Office of Public Inquiries responds to hundreds of thousands of letters a year. But NASA Press Secretary Lauren Worley told Mashable that the letters they enjoy responding to most come from young, aspiring space explorers.
“NASA is working to send humans farther into space than ever before, first to an asteroid and on to Mars. Perhaps one of these young writers will be among the first astronauts to set foot on another planet,” Worley said.