About - Astronaut Abby



Astronaut Abby Age 17Abigail Harrison is a girl with a dream. She wants to someday be an astronaut. But it doesn’t stop there–she plans to be the first astronaut to Mars. With a dream that big, it takes setting goals and working hard each day to make it a reality.Today, she is one step closer, having recently completed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity–traveling to Russia in May 2013 as a special guest of Italian Astronaut Luca Parmitano to be a part of a legendary Soyuz launch–Soyuz-TMA-09M. After the launch, Abby was charged with a BIG responsibility: she served as Parmitano’s Earth Liaison, bringing space down to Earth by sharing Parmitano’s space mission with her followers and other young people interested in space.

Abby has also created a worldwide outreach program called the #FutureOfSpace that is geared at igniting passion and excitement about space, STEM and dreams with kids around the world. It includes an email pen pal program, classroom visits, web chats, speaking at events and sharing on her social media channels and blog.

Early STEM Education

Abby is committed to inspiring other young people. Since the tender age of five, Abby has been dreaming of space and flying. A hands-on experience in the fifth grade cemented her commitment to her dream: Abby was chosen to participate in the GEMS program (Girls in Engineering, Mathematics and Science) at her school. Four years later, she had built robots, conducted science experiments and participated in NASA’s weather balloon program through the University of Minnesota.

Aspiring astronaut Astronaut AbbyHow AstronautAbby.com Got Started

By 8th grade, Abby was a member of her school’s top-ranked Science Bowl team and had created an award-winning State History Day Project titled Debate and Diplomacy: The History of the ISS. The project spanned both history and science and included Abby’s interviews with astronauts as well as industry space experts like Susan Freedman, an engineer for the International Space Station.

It was during this project that Abby created an online presence and became AstronautAbby. She found the power of social media allowed her to connect with people around the world who were both space professionals as well as enthusiasts. In December 2011, Abby was invited as a guest blogger for NASA’s ISS blog, in which she wrote a post titled “Meet a Teen With Space Dreams.” In March 2012, Abby was featured in an article on NASA’s education website titled “Astronaut Abby Hearts NASA.” In October of 2013, Abby was invited to present a TEDx talk in Tampa Bay. Her talk titled “What’s Your Mars?” has been shared around the globe, inspiring thousands of kids and adults to find their Mars and follow their own passion and purpose. Watch the video now to be inspired and please share with your friends!

Abby’s goal with her blog at AstronautAbby.com, Twitter account, Facebook Page and Google+ Page is to share her experience of reaching for this amazing dream and to inspire other young people to set their own goals and reach for the stars. Abby hopes to encourage adults to continue to invest in STEM education and to re-commit to the research of NASA and space exploration. She takes the responsibility of being the future generation of our space program seriously and wants to empower her generation to keep the torch burning.

Working Hard Everyday to Achieve Her Goals

Currently in her senior year in high school, Abby is taking all of her courses at the University of Minnesota as part of an exclusive post-secondary education program through Minneapolis Public Schools. Abby continues to conduct her STEM and Space outreach program as well as volunteer to help run kids science programs within her community. She has been a Model UN member and part of the Youth in Government Program through her four years of high school. She has also participated in the statewide steering committee for these programs. Abby serves as a captain of her high school gymnastics team, a varsity member of her high school dive team and a varsity member of her high school track and field team with pole vaulting as her main event. It’s obvious that keeping Abby on the ground is a challenge, as she loves to be flying through the air!

Abby is working toward a goal of attending the either the Air Force Academy or one of several prestigious universities after high school graduation. She wants to study microbiology and/or physics with a goal of attaining a doctorate and becoming a scientist. The one piece of advice Abby always refers back to in her following her own dreams and also encouraging others was given to her by her mentor, Astronaut Luca Parmitano: “Follow your heart in your studies and do what you love. NASA is looking for people who are passionate about what they do.” This counsel has helped Abby to set goals and navigate a path to space that not only prepares her for being an astronaut, but also keeps her excited about the process. She continues to correspond with Astronaut Luca Parmitano. He has graciously offered to be Abby’s mentor as she works for a goal that may seem impossible to some. He stated in an interview Abby conducted several years ago “Someday I will be training you to be an astronaut.” It’s a dream that Abby hopes to see become reality.

Some other fun Stuff Abby has participated in:

TEDX Tampa Bay – “What’s Your Mars” – See Abby’s Talk Here!

#SoyuzAdventure – Trip to See Astronaut Luca Paramitano’s Launch to the ISS in Russia

Apollo 17 4oth Anniversary Dinner at Stafford Air and Space Museum

Canadian Space Agency Tweetup #CSAtweetup #STS135

NASA Tweetup #NASAtweetup #NASAsocial #STS 134

Space Camp 2010, Space Academy 2011, Advanced Space Academy and Mach 3 Aviation Challenge 2012

Read up on All the Press about Abby and Her Adventures Here!


  • Ahmed Shamil

    Dear Madame

    I”m participant of NASA EDC(Ref #7180201). I heard that my name will flown on board as Hon.V.Crew of Orion EFT 1.I live in Bangladesh and I was”nt there.So Is there any video that shows my name in Board? Can I use mission patch?

    Please help me

    Thanking You

    Ahmed Shamil
    Orion EFT 1

  • Karanbeer Singh

    Everyone has goals
    Every one can dream but only those people get success who dare to complete it with their hardwork and determination
    I wish you all the best buddy for ur goal
    And thats my promise i ll surely meet you in space
    With my plans to get out of this solar system real fast

  • Mush mush

    Hey ABBY!!!!!! you are my inspiration! You do good job. You dare to dream and concentrate in it! So now you are almost in! Keep going ABBY!!!

  • Guest

    Hi Abby, this is a great blog!
    Do you think you will apply for the Mars One Project when applications open later this year then? Looks like I have tough competition indeed! Maybe we will make up the dream team who make it to Mars first in 2023 :) Good Luck in your studies!

  • Guest

    Hi Abby!
    Do you think you will apply for the Mars One Project when applications open later this year then? Looks like I have tough competition indeed! Maybe we will make up the dream team who make it to Mars first in 2023 :) Good Luck in your studies!

    Gillian Finnerty (Hopeful future astronaut too :) )

  • Aaron Q

    Can I make an Amazon app for you?

  • Claudine Metcalfe

    I can’t believe I discovered your twitter, and well, you, just today! I really wish I had done so sooner, as I would have loved to follow your blog for the obvious reasons! My dream is to become a NASA engineer in some capacity, though I’ll always keep ‘astronaut’ in mind. Maybe I’ll be helping you go to Mars someday! :-)

  • http://polyglotaholic.blogspot.com/ Sarai Pahla

    Hey Abby – am wishing you good luck on your quest – I have a similar goal :) I can’t wait to read some of your blog posts, they look really awesome – and I am so glad that you are proud of being good at maths and science… I have to go back to university to get an undergrad degree in maths as preparation for being an astronaut, so I really hope we can share notes. Thanks for being so awesome and sharing your journey!

    • http://twitter.com/AstronautAbby Abigail Harrison

      Hi Sarai

      Thanks for your comment! Where are you from? That is very exciting that you are working towards being an astronaut – hopefully I will get to work with you!

  • Joel theisen


    Very cool stuff… your drive is unbeleivable making your mission to become a real astronaut very beleivable!

    • http://twitter.com/AstronautAbby Abigail Harrison

      Thank You Joel!!!

  • ignasio Einstein

    thats great !!!!!!

  • Pratik Kapadia

    Hi Abby. May your all dreams come true and you get all the success in life. Hoping to see you on TV, showing your landing on Planet Mars. Keep the hard work going. Best Wishes from Mumbai, INDIA.

    • http://twitter.com/AstronautAbby Abigail Harrison

      Thank you for your warm wishes! You will see me on Mars someday I promise!

  • Balejandra

    hey abby, remember me? ale from space camp, hehe, like all of a sudden i found your buissness card in my jeans pocket and i got curious :)

  • sw5454

    Hi abby I’m brad

  • Anonymous

    hi,, abby,, congreats for your great “DrEaM”,,
     and i want to chat with you ,,,
      because of as smae as my “DrEaM”…

  • Laurel Struwe

    Hi Abby!  I am on your blog.  Yay!

  • Rick

    It was my pleasure to have met you during STS-134 launch day. What a great day!. You are an inspiration to us all. Please keep this feeling going to encourage other young people to participate in America’s Space future. It is, I believe our destiny. I have a Grumman Sticker for you from the late 60’s i will send. I’m tring to get a few more for you.  Officer Rick 

  • http://twitter.com/NEVIE_JOHN NEVILLE MADDEN

    Wel Abby, I was just glancing over the previous few Comments and noticed where you said (Last Month) that You Were Trying To Get Tickets for STS-134 ….. well That month has gone and they’ve had 2 LAUNCH ATTEMPTS SCRUBBED due to Technical Issues. Let’s hope That The Next ATTEMPT on the 8th or 10th (whichever is chosen) Actually Happens. You’ll be there to watch it and I’m Really Envious of You. Enjoy The Launch, Abby. I’ll be watching it with you LIVE on NASATV.

  • Mary Hill

    Abby- I already know how special you are- I think you are ready to join the astronaut program right now! You rock!
    MS Hill

  • Mychelesartist

    I am so proud of you Abby! To follow ones dream and to share it with the world is a priceless gift that you give to all of us! By example you will inspire others w/c can only make the world an even more magical place to live! YOU ROCK!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Swesda1982 Katrin (Звезда) Hage

    Dear Abby,
    I hope so much that your dream becomes reality. I love to read your profile and wanted me to be younger again. Unfortunately I was never so determined as teenanger like you. But now, with almost 30, it is for me a little too late. In Europe it is, I think a little harder than in the United States. I see your chances are very good.
    I have chosen to live my dream as a hobby. I am a member of an observatory here in Germany. I give lectures about Space, the ISS and the SSP. We have in April for the first time a “Yuri’s Night”. I was the last weeks at KSC, in FL, and saw the launch of STS-133. I visited the Visitors Complex almost every day! I know: NASA needs young people. New ideas!
    I’ll keep my fingers crossed very tightly for you!

    Stay care!

    Katrin / Observatory Mainz – Germany

    • http://twitter.com/AstronautAbby Abigail Harrison

      thank you so much! iv’e been so lucky to have a mom who has always encouraged my dreams, and people like you supporting me! i really appreciate your comment!

      p.s, were trying to get tickets to see sts-134 next month.

  • Kristin Maija Peterson

    Paving the way Abigail! I know there are many women who have been able to succeed in the male-dominated math and science world, but there is long way to closing that gap. More girls and young women need to be encouraged to follow their dreams, especially in the fields engineering, math, science, and space exploration. Can’t wait to see the your work.

    • http://www.socialnicole.com/ Nicole Harrison

      Abby just read this and she said to me “This sounds like GEMS, girls in engineering, math and science. I should tell her about that.” I told her that you are my good friend and most likely it sounds like GEMS because I talk about her all the time to you and you actually listen. :)

    • http://twitter.com/AstronautAbby Abigail Harrison

      Thanks Kristin…your support is so great, BTW my mom said you are a model expert…perhaps you’ll want to come over and help us glue the ISS together… :)

    • http://twitter.com/NEVIE_JOHN NEVILLE MADDEN

      I’ve only known Abby (and Nicole) for a short time but, even though it’s only An Online Friendship, I feel like I have known Abby all her life. Abby is such a Positive Girl with Such A Wonderful Dream, and she has such a Wonderful Mom supporting her. Oh, BTW, Did I Say ‘DREAM’ … maybe I should have said ‘GOAL’ … I think she’s had The DREAM long enough now – She’s Actually Working On It Full time To Achieve It – So It’s NOW A GOAL ….. A Goal Which She WILL FULFILL !!! Abby has Set Her main Intermediate Goal by Deciding To Become An Astronaut; and she has Set A Time to Achieve Her Ultimate Goal without probably realizing that she has: She has said that She Wants To Be One Of The First Humans To Land On MARS. I believe She’ll Achieve Her Goals: In fact, I’ve told her that I am looking forward to Chatting Online with her In SPACE. As a matter of fact ….. I believe that Abigail Harrison will be The FIRST Woman to Land on Mars.

  • Thomas S Smith

    Good luck Abby and if you ever need any help with materials that might help you with your endeavors please contact me. The NASA Langley Research Outreach team is always willing to help enthusiastic students such as yourself.

    ~ Sean Smith/PH0T0B0Y

    • http://twitter.com/AstronautAbby Abigail Harrison

      Thank you so much Sean – Sorry for my delayed response, I’m still learning how to use WordPress and the comment system. I appreciate your offer and will be sure to ask when I need help.