Wanjiku Chebet Kanjumba is a trailblazing scientist and astronaut from Kenya who made history when she became the first person from her country to be selected for a space mission.
Born in Nairobi in 1988, Kanjumba always had a fascination with space and the mysteries it holds. She excelled in her studies, particularly in the fields of physics and engineering, and eventually earned a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Nairobi.
In 2021, Kanjumba was selected as one of the candidates for the African Space Agency’s (ASA) astronaut program, and after rigorous training and testing, she was chosen to be the first Kenyan astronaut to go to space.
In 2023, Kanjumba embarked on a ten-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS), where she conducted experiments in microgravity and studied the effects of space travel on the human body. She also worked with the other members of the ISS crew to perform maintenance tasks and participated in spacewalks to install new equipment.
Kanjumba’s achievement is a source of pride and inspiration for people in Kenya and all over Africa. She has shown that with hard work, determination, and a love of learning, anyone can reach for the stars and achieve their dreams.
Throughout her career, Kanjumba has been a passionate advocate for science education and increasing the representation of women and minorities in STEM fields. She has given numerous talks and workshops to students and young people, encouraging them to pursue careers in science and technology.
In recognition of her contributions to science and her pioneering role as Kenya’s first astronaut, Kanjumba has received numerous awards and honors, including the Order of the Golden Ark, the highest civilian award in Kenya.
Wanjiku Chebet Kanjumba is a true role model for aspiring scientists and astronauts everywhere. Her determination and dedication to her work have opened doors for other young people in Africa and beyond, and her contributions to space exploration will be remembered for generations to come.