Boy Writes To NASA; NASA Writes Back | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Boy Writes To NASA; NASA Writes Back

Not many children write letters to government entities, we would think. But a boy's letter to NASA is making waves and softening hearts on the Internet today.

"Dear NASA," the letter begins. "My name is Dexter I heard that you are sending 2 people to Mars and I would like to come but I'm 7." The handwritten note, in which Dexter asks for advice about becoming an astronaut, got a full response from NASA, along with some stickers and posters.

That led Dexter's mother, whom HuffPost Parents names as Katrina Anderson of Britain, to put images of the letters and swag on the Web, and to submit a post to Reddit titled, "My 7 year old son wrote to NASA about wanting to be an astronaut and visit Mars, we received his reply this morning."

In its letter back to Dexter, NASA told the boy that he could someday be a pioneer, helping to increase what the world understands about Earth and space. The agency 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!"

Responses poured forth on Reddit, where many comments sought to help young Dexter find a way to pursue his dream and possibly attend space camp.

"He visited the Kennedy Space Centre and loved it," Dexter's mom wrote. "He also has a fascination with America. We are English and live here in England, I feel I will lose him to America one day ;)"

She also said the boy has "been a bit overwhelmed by the response today," adding that she would save all the links people sent into a special folder. Dexter, she explained, is allotted only a certain amount of time on the Web.

The enthusiastic public response to Dexter's letter led NASA to note on its Twitter feed Monday, "We try to answer as many Q's as possible on social media. For those who prefer postal mail, we respond there, too."

As BuzzFeed points out, one person who commented on the Reddit thread says he's a NASA employee who occasionally visits NASA's Public Outreach office, where "they have scans of these letters pinned to their cubicles."

Dexter's mother responded:

"Thank you so much for replying to these letters honestly I didn't expect as much as he received, neither did he. 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. He wrote to the DC office. Thank you from both of us, he was so excited when he got the letter."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

From Her Dad To Her 'Jamish' Roots, A Poet Pieces Her Story Together

Salena Godden grew up in 1970s England with a Jamaican mom and an absent English-Irish dad. In her memoir, Springfield Road, she looks back on her struggle to find her personal identity.
NPR

If You've Ever Looked For Faces In Your Potato Chips, Thank Myrtle Young

The Potato Chip Lady, aka Myrtle Young, died in August of this year. She was 90. Young became famous after showing her collection of unusually shaped chips to Tonight Show host Johnny Carson in 1987.
NPR

Tennessee's Medicaid Deal Dodges A Partisan Fight

An agreement between the Tennessee Hospital Association and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam expands Medicaid without tax dollars, an agreement that could be a blueprint for other states.
NPR

Die-In, Vortex, Selfie Stick: What's The Word Of 2014?

In January, members of the American Dialect Society will vote on the 2014 Word of the Year. Linguist Ben Zimmer runs through some contenders — including words both old and new.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.