Mae C. Jemison

Mae C. Jemison is the first African-American female astronaut.

In 1992, she flew into space aboard the Endeavour, becoming the first African-American woman in space.

Mae C. Jemison was born in Decatur, Alabama. In high school Mae became convinced she wanted to pursue a career in biomedical engineering, and when she graduated in 1973 as a consistent honor student, she entered Stanford University on a National Achievement Scholarship. Mae was very involved in extracurricular activities at Stanford, including dance and theater productions, and served as head of the Black Student Union.


On June 4, 1987, she became the first African-American woman to be admitted into the astronaut training program. After more than a year of training, she became the first African-American female astronaut, earning the title of science mission specialist—a job that would make her responsible for conducting crew-related scientific experiments on the space shuttle.

On September 12, 1992, Mae finally flew into space with six other astronauts aboard the Endeavour on mission STS47, becoming the first African-American woman in space. In recognition of her accomplishments, Jemison has received several awards and honorary doctorates.

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