Mae C. Jemison

Astronaut / Physician

Born: 17 October 1956
Birthplace: Decatur, Alabama
Best known as: The first African-American woman in space

Dr. Mae Carol Jemison became the first black woman to travel into outer space on 12 September 1992, on an 8-day orbit aboard the spacecraft Endeavour. Raised in Chicago, she went to Stanford at the age of 16 and graduated in 1977. She then earned her medical degree from Cornell University and became a physician in 1981. She practiced medicine in Los Angeles and served in the Peace Corps in Africa before being approved for astronaut training with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1987. She spent the next six years at NASA, ending up on mission STS-47 aboard the shuttle Endeavour in 1992. After leaving NASA in 1993 she founded the Jemison Group, a research and consulting firm, and became active in several educational programs. She also wrote a memoir for young readers, Find Where the Wind Goes (2001).

Extra credit:

In 1993 Dr. Jemison made a guest appearance on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94, starring LeVar Burton).

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