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Meet Elsa Shiju

Elsa Shiju (born November 04, 2008), is an American Space Enthusiast with the goal of training as an astronaut and being selected for future human spaceflight to Mars. Ever since she was a little girl, Elsa Shiju has had her heart set on the stars. At only 3 years old, she told her father, “Daddy, I want to be an astronaut, and be one of the people to go to Mars.” He had no idea that this seemingly offhand statement would actually become the birth of a meaningful lifelong endeavor.

Shiju showed her enthusiasm as she became one of the youngest astronaut trainees in history. At just 13 years old, Elsa’s list of accomplishments include witnessing 3 Space Shuttle launches, attending Space Camp 4 times, Space Academy, Robotics Academy, Cosmosphere Camp, National Flight Academy and VA Space Flight Academy including obtaining her Open Water Scuba Certification. In 2017, she was featured in the Mars Generation documentary and self-published a book (Do You Want to Be an Astronaut - 2021) about her goal of becoming an astronaut. In addition she delivers motivational speeches to help young dreamers reach for the stars.

For now, she continues to envision the day when she conducts experiments on the way to Mars, prepares others after landing on Mars, digs for water, tests the water and soil for Martian life and explores the planet. In the meantime, she will continue pursuing her dream and encouraging others along the way to follow their own dreams.

More than anything, Elsa is driven by an insatiable desire to live life to the fullest; to break through the ceiling of possibility and make a positive and lasting impact on the world.

Learn More About Elsa's Book: DO YOU WANT TO BE AN ASTRONAUT