Meet Abigail Harrison alias Astronaut Abby – her dream: to be the first woman to walk on mars!

Did you have a role model that influenced your decision to become a scientist?

I did not have a specific role model. I just grew up loving science and had a lot of teachers and others who encouraged my passion.


What is your scientific background?

I am currently an astrobiology student at Wellesley College with practical experience working in Siberia and labs on campus.


Why did you choose to become a scientist?

Because I am fascinated by the world around me and seeking answers to unknown questions.


How did you choose your field of study?

I have taken courses in many science disciplines and biology has always remained my favorite area of study. I am fascinated by the study of life on other planets.


Which topic are you working on at the moment?

I run an international nonprofit that mentors thousands of students and also provides inspiration to many people. is a unique organization that works to educate and excite kids and adults about space and STEAM. I have also encouraged and given advice to thousands of students through email, social media, and public speaking.


What (or who) motivated you in difficult times?

In difficult times I am motivated by my passion for science and discovery and my plans for my future. I look at what I hope to accomplish and that gives me strength to get through the current challenge.


In ten years, what do you hope to have accomplished in terms of your work?

I hope to have been accepted as a member of the NASA astronaut corps.


Do you come from an academic family?



How does your family regard your career choice?

My family supports me 100%!


Besides your scientific interests, what are your personal interests?

I love to dance, do a lot of sports, but also read and knit in my spare time.


Is it hard to manage both career and private life? How do you manage both?

It requires a lot of structure and discipline. I work to protect my private life and free time as much as possible.


If you had the option to give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would that be?

Slow down and make sure to breathe. There is time to accomplish your dreams, don’t overextend and/or burn yourself out.


Check out Abby’s inspiring TED talk!


You can learn more about Abby’s amazing work at