Jessica Watkins, a 29-year-old geologist from Lafayette, Colorado, has been recruited by NASA for a manned mission to space as the first black woman in history. She always wanted to become an astronaut, she says, being inspired in elementary school by the story of Judith A. Resnik, the second woman in space and a casualty of the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster.

In August 2017, Jessica and her classmates will enter a two-year training program, among other things preparing them to stay at the International Space Station and teaching them Russian, a common language in the aerospace industry. Another NASA project, the Orion mission, which has a manned mission to Mars as its goal, could potentially find its participants among the new students. Only time will tell if Jessica is going to be one of the first humans on Mars, but for now, she is already on her way to make a great achievement by entering space.