Mae Jemison was the first female African-American astronaut to go into space. In 1987, she became the first African-American woman to be accepted to the astronaut training program. From September 12-20, 1992, Jemison, along with six other astronauts, spent eight days in space aboard the Endeavour.Continue Reading
Due to the Challenger disaster in 1986, Jemison's initial application to NASA's training program was delayed. However, she reapplied again and was selected as one of 15 ideal candidates from an application pool of 2000 people.
On the Endeavour mission STS47, Jemison spent eight days conducting experiments on weightlessness and motion sickness. For her accomplishments, she received several awards in the fields of technology and science, honorary doctorates and accolades such as the naming of Detroit's public school, the Mae C. Jemison Academy, in her honor.
Jemison hoped her work with NASA would demonstrate to the world that women and minority groups are deserving of opportunities and capable of great work. Prior to her work as an astronaut, Jemison was heavily involved in relief efforts. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering, she worked in Thailand at a Cambodian refugee camp. Following her MD and internship at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center, she joined Peace Corps as medical officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia.Learn more about Non-fiction