Anna the Astronaut – the Space girl from Copenhagen
All Anna Olsen wants is going to space. And just like a story of the Danish writer H.C. Andersen this might turn into a wonderful fairytale – with one big exception: Anna the Astronaut’s story might actually come true. This young girl who is determined enough to turn down an invitation to MIT has the potential to become the very first Dane in space.
The Race for Space
Anna Olsen is 18 years old and already quite famous in Denmark. She represents a great story about a young girl who steps up to play with the big boys and challenge them in the race of getting The Seat on the first rocket to be launched from Danish territory.
This story is unusual in more ways than one. Not only because of the obvious gender angle: Anna Olsen embodies the hope for the future: Yes- girls also dreams about dangerous adventures. Yes, yes– girls also spend time working with engines and getting greasy. This story is also interesting because a small country like Denmark has joined the race for space.
It began at Copenhagen Suborbitals
The Danish contribution to the space race is not official in the sense that it is funded and run by the government. Actually it is the absolute contrary. This is run by a small group of crowed funded enthusiasts who call themselves Copenhagen Suborbitals and they design, test and build their own rockets.
Every week when school is over this is where you will find Anna Olsen. Somewhere in the hangar of Copenhagen Suborbitals she is in the workshop working, helping and learning. Every day takes her one small step closer to her dream.
The Letter from MIT
The story of this game braking Danish girl has spread throughout the world. One day Anna Olsen received a letter from the distinguished and well-known Massachusetts Institute of Technology – or better known as the MIT, USA.
The letter offered an invitation to Anna to come and study at their institute. Being one of the most renowned institutes in the world this is beyond doubt a very special invitation.
I know MIT is a very good school and I really would like to study there. But what they offered me was not in the field of my interest. So I said no”
It goes without saying that her parents were very proud. But Anna said no. As she explains it: “I know MIT is a very good school and I really would like to study there some day. But what they offered me was not in the field of my interest. So I said no”
All Focus and No Distractions
Now that is a statement that reflects commitment and focus. By saying NO to an opportunity most would have taken without much if any hesitation – Anna Olsen sets an example of the importance of not getting distracted on the way towards your target
The best answer
When I ask her why she works so hard on getting her name on that first launch she pauses a second. “I don’t know how to explain it”, she says and continues “It’s just something that I really, really want to do!”
And thinking about it for a second I realize that is actually the best answer I have heard in a very long time. Not a long monologue of explanations: This is something that she wants to do and thus that is her mission. End of story.
Read more about Anna Olsen and Copenhagen Suborbitals
All the pictures in this article are taken by Anna’s father Carsten Olsen, also a passionate member of Copenhagen Suborbitals
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