His Scientific Invention Made The Moon Landing Possible

Space ship launching
Briona Lamback
September 30, 2021

George Carruthers had always been curious about the world beyond his rural Ohio town. He even built his first telescope at only ten years old!

He devoured space travel comic books. And despite how the world tried to limit his people, he had dreams of traveling to space. But would it all just be a dream?

Nope! Encouraged to explore the STEAM field by his father, Carruthers soon became one of the few Black astrophysicists in the nation. And in 1972, his talent soared to new heights when he designed an advanced telescopic device used during space missions to photograph stars and galaxies.

But that’s not all.

He shared that knowledge with his people! Since the 90s, Carruthers taught Earth and space science at Howard University and loved helping students learn to build telescopes. Then he took his teaching beyond the classroom.

His work reached community centers, high schools, and education for local teachers. Carruthers knew that many Black youths didn’t realize the futures they could build – especially in science – so he worked diligently to change that. 

Despite his work, he’s remained a “hidden figure.” Making his work to encourage STEAM among Black youth even more important.

Today his rich legacy continues to shine bright and inspire space innovation. No matter the skill, occupation, or hobby, we must be committed to reaching back and educating our people.

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