A seven-year-old astronaut in training will become the first child ever to send something to the moon after impressing the world’s leading space pioneers.
Elizabeth Norman is obsessed with space and staged the launch of a massive homemade Vulcan Centaur rocket from her garden earlier this year.
Her enormous enthusiasm for all things lunar captured the attention of US experts currently prepping the real Vulcan Centaur for the first moon landing in nearly 50 years.
United Launch Alliance (ULA) has a miniscule space left on an upcoming mission to send the first ever private pod to land on the lunar surface.
They’ve offered to take something belonging to ‘Astro Liz’, and now a sticker carrying the name of her space blog will be part of the first ever lunar ‘time capsule’.
Her family, who are from Leicester in England, have even been invited to wave it goodbye on launch day in Florida at the end of 2021.
The schoolgirl is one of a handful of people in the world to include a personal item on the first ever mission of its kind.
And she’s already doing her own astronaut’s physical training routine to prepare for a future in space, to one day go visit the moon—and her sticker—in person.
Elizabeth said: “I can’t wait to see a video of the capsule with my sticker on the moon taken by the lunar lander.
“Astrobotic is making my space dreams come true and I’m so excited to watch the launch… I love science and space because there is so much to learn and I love exploring and doing experiments.” Her future goals? “To walk on the moon and to explore the highest mountain on Mars.”
Proud mom Jennifer Norman said: “None of us could believe it when we found out she would have the opportunity to make her mark on the Moon… For her to be included in such a historic moment is incredible and has shown anything is possible—her confidence and ambition have grown so much since she found out.
Elizabeth’s passion for space took off after watching coverage of NASA’s Perseverance Rover being sent to Mars in July 2020.
She threw herself into learning all about space—Elizabeth has already built a bionic arm to learn about robotics, and has just completed a five-week NASA program where she designed and carried out her own virtual mission to Mars.
She even set up a science-themed YouTube channel in July last year, where she uploads educational videos.
Her work caught the eye of Tory Bruno, the CEO of ULA, and lunar lander manufacturer Astrobotic.
He watched the launch of her seven-foot cardboard version of the rocket he’s currently prepping for launch—as it sailed 30ft into the air, impressing Elizabeth’s neighbors.
So impressed, he reached out and asked if she could be part of the real launch of Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander on board ULA’s Vulcan Centaur when it takes off later this year.
As part of the mission, space technology company Astrobotic is offering people and businesses the chance to buy space on the lander—known as a lunar payload: NASA is paying $79.5 million for 14 slots on the mission.
Elizabeth couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming launch—after all, if anyone knows the sky is far from the limit, it’s her.