PROFILE: Astronaut Abby

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astronaut_abby1Abigail Harrison is a 16 year old Minnesota girl who is literally reaching for the stars.  She has an ambitious dream to someday be an astronaut.  Rather than just dreaming, Abby has been working very hard and very carefully to achieve her goal to become the first astronaut to land on Mars.  

Since the age of five, Abby had been fascinated by space travel and flying.  In fifth grade, she was chosen to participate in a special STEM program at her school called GEMS (Girls in Engineering Math, and Science) During those middle school years, Abby spent four years building robots, conducting science exhibits, and participating in NASA’s weather balloon program.  

It was in eighth grade that Abby started her blog.  Her award winning State History Day Project about the history of the International Space Station included Abby’s interviews with astronauts, space experts, and careful scholarship.    She was later invited to guest blog on NASA’s blog, and has been featured in numerous newspapers and television interviews.  She currently has over 3000 likes on facebook and over 11,000 twitter followers.

In addition to maintaining her blog, her social media accounts, and a straight A average, Abby started doing gymnastics at age 14.  Despite her late start in the gymnastics world, she’s been able to compete on the state level.

Astronaut Abby with her mentor and friend, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano

Astronaut Abby with her mentor and friend, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano

Abby has struck up friendships with a number of astronauts, most notably Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano. Abby serves as the on earth liason for Astronaut Luca, and has a web form  on her site where you can ask Astronaut Luca questions about what it is like to live at the International Space Station.  

Abby has also recently participated in a Soyuz Adventure, where she travelled to Russia to view the Russian space program.  She has also been touring various NASA facilities and writing about them on her blog. One of her recent trips was a sponsored trip to the Kennedy Space Center for the Opening Exhibit of Space Shuttle Atlantis.  And she also recently visited the training facilities of the Johnson Space Center in Texas and the Marshall Space Center in Alabama.  On her website, she offers “Virtual classroom visits” where she will skype into a classroom to share her love and passion for all things space.

All in all Abby has had lots of great opportunities, but most importantly she’s taken advantage of most of them.  

To find out more about her thoughts and dreams, and read all about her adventures, visit her website


 Adam Gertsacov is the co-founder and co-organizer of Digital Family Summit.  He wears many hats, including those of a professional clown, an author and publisher, an artist/educator, a non-profit administrator, a P.T. Barnum impersonator, a flea circus impresario, and the esteemed hat of the Clown Laureate of Greenbelt, Maryland.  

In his copious freetime, he blogs at and, as well as a few other places.
You can find out more about his clown work at
Filed under: Tween/Teen Profiles

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