I love teaching all aspects of astronomy and space sciences but especially to help beginners, teachers and students to get started in this wonderful subject.
Haritina MogoȘanu, Astrobiologist
Hari became interested in space at a very young age and was one of the leading supporters of the growing amateur astronomer scene in Romania. She completed her studies in horticultural engineering with a Masters in Environmental Management at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Bucharest.
Hari came to New Zealand to follow her passion for the stars, she wanted to see the star Canopus visible now from southern latitudes, so she really followed the stars to New Zealand.
In 2010, when working closely with the Romanian Space Agency, Hari was invited to become an analog astronaut at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) for Romars 2011. The mission was the culmination of everything she had learned from engineering to astronomy, to greenhouse food production, risk analysis, human relations and psychology, resilience, and science communication and it was the most profound and life-changing experience of her professional life. Seeing so many people from all cultures, belief systems and backgrounds working together in the space industry and what can be achieved by that, gave Hari the courage to pursue a space career upon returning.
While organising analog astronaut training missions for Mars, Hari also coordinated and led outreach teams to engage with national and international audiences in communicating their activities. Hari has spoken at TEDx, schools, public events and conducted talks for students at the Governor General of New Zealand’s house.
Hari has a second Masters degree in International Security in Intelligence (Massey University, 2016). After researching for her master’s degree, which dealt with the question “why did we not get back to the Moon?”, Hari put the lessons learned at work and established the New Zealand Astrobiology Network as a charitable trust with clear goals and objectives. Hari is a strong believer that humankind must become a thriving space faring civilisation and in doing this ensuring that Earth is protected as well.
Hari has been a finalist in New Zealand Woman of the Year and Wellingtonian of the Year, is a regular radio presenter on Radioactive and Arrow FM and invited to talk on Radio New Zealand. Hari is the vice-president and has been for 2021 the acting president of the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand. She is one of New Zealand’s top science communicators and an internationally recognised advocate for space science education.