Susan Murabana, a Kenyan astronomer, has a mission: to share her passion for astronomy with remote communities and inspire young people, especially girls, to pursue careers in science. She organizes Star Safaris, trips that allow participants to witness celestial events such as the Perseid meteor shower. The trips also fund the Traveling Telescope, a social enterprise that brings a telescope and an inflatable planetarium to rural areas, giving children the opportunity to see planets and learn about constellations.

Since the launch of the Traveling Telescope in 2014, Murabana estimates she has shown the wonders of the night sky to 400,000 people. They mainly target schools in remote areas to provide children with opportunities they would not otherwise have. Murabana hopes to demystify the idea that astronomy and science are difficult and boring, and that they are only for children and the Western world. She wants to inspire African girls to pursue careers in science and astronomy.

Murabana’s passion for astronomy began in her 20s when she joined a similar outreach session facilitated by Cosmos Education. Inspired by this experience, she eventually completed a master’s degree in astronomy and decided to establish her own outreach program with her husband. However, obtaining funding has been a challenge, as the focus in Kenya is mainly on areas such as health and sanitation. Despite this, Murabana’s work has had a significant impact and she was selected as a mentor for the United Nations Space4Women program.

Murabana considers Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space, as a role model. She hopes that through her work, she can inspire the next generation of African women space scientists and even contribute to the first African woman reaching space.

– Original article