“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination.” –Dr. Mae Jemison
In 1987, biomedical engineer Mae Jemison applied for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) astronaut program. NASA received over 2,000 applications. 100 people were interviewed and 15 people were selected for the astronaut program. Dr. Mae Jemison was one of them.
Dr. Mae Jemison was born on October 17th, 1956. She was raised in Chicago, Il. A graduate of Morgan Park High School, she went on to Stanford University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in African and African-American Studies. After Stanford, she went on to Cornell University where she received her doctorate degree in medicine.
In June 1987, she was selected as the science Mission Specialist on STS-47 spacelab.
“The first thing I saw from space was Chicago, my home town,” Jemison said. “I was working on the middeck where there aren’t many windows, and as we passed over Chicago, the flight commander called me up to the flight deck. It was such a significant moment because since I was a little girl I had
always assumed I would go into space.”
Dr. Jemison has said on many occasions that she was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Dr. King’s dream was not a elusive fantasy but a call to action. When I think of Martin Luther King Jr., I think of attitude, audacity and bravery.”
Dr. Mae Jemison resigned from NASA in 1993, becoming the first Black American woman astronaut to go on a space mission.
Dr. Jemison has also appeared on television as an actress, including the popular “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
“Growing up, I was just like every other kid, I loved space, stars, and dinosaurs.
I always knew I wanted to explore. At the time of the Apollo airing everybody was thrilled about space, but I remember being irritated that there were no women astronauts.”