Dexter is seven years old and he wrote to NASA saying he wants to fly to Mars. Does no one at NASA know a seven-year-old? (More)

The resident faculty took the day off to celebrate the 124th anniversary of Tijuana. Or at least that’s their excuse. I’m suspicious because they’re still denying the Tijuana Incident. Plus they tricked me into this roving reporter gig as work study to pay for my tuition while I finish my thesis on 21st Century Nuttitude – when BPI doesn’t even charge tuition – so you can understand why I’m suspicious.

I think the resident faculty are really conducting a live experiment of the random walk algorithm, if you get my meaning. Regardless, your lowly mail room clerk is polishing her letter opener, so I have to take a day away from my research to be here.

You’re welcome.

And I’m sure that’s what Dexter said when he got the letter from NASA. Or at least his mom probably did. She posted a photo of his letter:

You can click on the other thumbnails at the bottom to see NASA’s reply and some photos from Mars and NASA stickers. There’s even a picture of Dexter himself. In case you can’t read seven-year-old, here’s the text of his letter:

My name is Dexter and I heard 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?

Thank you

All together now: one … two … three … awwwwww….

And that’s probably what the folks at NASA did when they saw his letter. But then they tasked the Public Communication Program, Public Outreach Division, Office of Communications to reply. The assignment probably involved a mission plan that weighed eight pounds. Here’s what they said:

Dear Dexter:

On behalf of NASA, thank you for writing us a letter.

Okay, they started off well. Then the Public Communication Program, Public Outreach Division, Office of Communications looked at that eight-pound mission plan….

NASA wants you to know that your thoughts and ideas to further space exploration are important, and we hope that you will continue to learn all you can about NASA’s space programs, missions, and accomplishments.

By now Dexter was probably saying “Look, mom! Pictures!”

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.

“And stickers!” Dexter probably shouted.

But the Public Communication Program, Public Outreach Division, Office of Communications were only up to page 1391 of their eight-pound mission plan….

Below are web sites that contain resourceful information about NASA’s space programs and activities. If you or your school does not have a computer that can connect with the Internet, perhaps you can visit a local library and use one of their computers.

Umm, Dexter lives in England. People in England can access the Internet on cell phones, quickly and easily and cheaply. Dexter can probably find NASA websites faster than the Public Communication Program, Public Outreach Division, Office of Communications can. Just sayin’.

Anyway, listing and describing the web sites for NASA’s K-4th Grade student materials, Space Camp, and How to Become an Astronaut 101 probably got them to page 5714 of their eight-pound mission plan. So they’re almost done….

Again, thank you for your letter. 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!

Public Communication Program
Public Outreach Division
Office of Communications

By the time mom got to that part, Dexter probably had those cool new stickers on the fish tank, or the dogs. Probably not Bertie. Maybe he added them to mom’s tattoos. I bet that wasn’t in NASA’s eight-pound mission plan.

Anyway, Dexter has since written to the European Space Agency. I hope someone there speaks seven-year-old.

Good day and good nuts.