SpaceXpage is all about sharing everything about SpaceX, NASA and Elon Musk's dream of visiting Mars in our lifetimes. Many people are excited about the idea of mankind exploring the solar system and beyond. Some of us might be thinking of saving up for a commercial ticket to Mars. But there are also a few who have started preparing to become the first astronauts to make it to the red planet. This first blog in a series about Future Martians features Giulia Bassani.
Photo credit: @mr.kalopsia
I’m a 21 year old Italian student of aerospace engineering, pursuing my goal to become an astronaut and contribute to space exploration from Earth’s orbit or beyond. Other than that, I am a novelist, and to this day I have published two books. For this reason I’m also intrigued by the idea of becoming the first person to ever write a book in space, if I succeed in my first goal!
I’ve been studying the feasibility of human missions to Mars for four years now, starting from 2016, when I was 17 years old, and my project of an autonomous space base for the Red Planet won a European prize. I instantly grew fond of tackling the problems of living on a planet that isn’t the Earth and finding one or many possible solutions for the matter at issue. I’m currently working on two international research projects, one related to the sustainability of Mars missions – How can we be sustainable on Mars? How can we implement Mars technology to solve climate and environmental issues on Earth? – and one related to cosmic radiation, one of the biggest obstacles to long-term human space missions, and something we need to learn more about if we want to explore deeper into the Solar System.
In 2018 I published my first novel, Ad Martem 12, the story of the first human beings ever born on Mars, reinforced by scientific accuracy, where the protagonists are in fact Martian – but human – teenagers with a totally different point of view on Earth. It sold hundreds of copies worldwide and it was read and enjoyed by all types of public as well as by experts of the sector, like NASA engineers, the president of The Mars Society, and a few astronauts.
In the same year I was invited by the European Space Agency, ArianeGroup and CNES to watch an Ariane rocket launch in Kourou, French Guiana, a magical location where the advanced technology of space launch systems meets the simplicity of the local life and the wilderness of the jungle. Then last year I was nominated national coordinator for Italy of the Moon Village Association – a global association fostering the upcoming human return missions to the Moon – making me the youngest person ever to cover this role. And as of recently I have also published my second novel, Kalopsia, an action and love story centred around military aviation in a dystopian world.
When I was a child, however, I had never really cared about space and I certainly didn’t want to go there. And actually, when I was at high school, I used to struggle a lot with math, physics and chemistry and, even though I was fascinated by science, I didn’t really know what I was going to do in my life. I found my way when the first Italian woman astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti, went to the ISS and I followed her mission entirely. I quickly grew fond of the engineering field and discovered what it actually meant to be an astronaut and all that this job required and in 2020 I was invited to hold a TED Talk to tell my story. It all started out as a dream that slowly turned into a career plan, and that dream was exactly what helped me fight through my difficulties in school and to overcome them. I knew it was going to be hard, but I have always loved the thrill of challenges, and that was exactly why I chose this path.
My plan is now to finish my studies and become an aerospace engineer specialized in aeromechanics and aerospace systems. Possibly, I would like to include some study experiences abroad and thereafter I'd like to find a job in my field of expertise. In the meantime I plan on becoming fluent in Russian, advancing with Chinese and getting a Private Pilot License, as I'm luckily living very close to a flight school. I'm also planning on getting a scuba-diving certificate as soon as I find the right opportunity. I'm going to do everything I can to be ready for when the European Space Agency will open astronaut selections, collecting as much experience as possible. And then, of course, I will never stop writing. No matter where my life brings me, I will always be up to new plots and adventures.