Fatoumata Kebe STUDENT UNDERTAKING A THESIS IN ASTRONOMY
INSTITUTION OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS PARIS, FRANCE
AGE30
NATIONALITY FRENCH

MY MISSION

I work on space debris. Space debris is the remains of human activity in space. So when we launch rockets, pieces of rocket stay in space as well as old satellites that have finished their missions. A whole host of different objects. Today the quantity of space debris has increased so much that we are forced to find ways to eradicate it. I work on modelisation in relation to fragmentation events, i.e. collisions and explosions. I see how the debris generated evolves. The idea is to stop debris falling to Earth and also to prevent it from partially or totally destroying “operational” satellites. Above all we aim to preserve the space environment. I’m a cleaning woman in space. Or rather, a surface technician specialised in space cleaning.

WHY I LIKE SPACE

It was a girlhood dream to work with stars. Travelling into space is a childhood dream I still have today. I was deeply touched by magnificent pictures of stars, nebula and planets. Because of these images, I told myself that, later, I’d become an astronomer. I don’t know how but I’ll become an astronomer.

MY ADVICE TO SPACE GIRLS

Believe in yourself. Even if people encourage you, if you don’t believe in yourself, you’ll never make it. There is no substitute for self-belief. You have to be motivated. Believe in yourself, give yourself chances and even if it’s not easy, you have to try. Just try. Do not be defeatist.”

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photo:
© Laurence Geai