Mae Jemison
Tech History

Mae Jemison – Black History Month

Mae Jemison best known for being the first African-American female astronaut in space. She flew into space aboard the Endeavour, becoming the first African-American woman in space.


Jemison received a bachelors in chemical engineering from Stanford University and a doctorate degree in medicine from Cornell University. After medical school and a brief general practice, After working as a general practitioner, Jemison served two and a half years as a volunteer in the Peace Corps before she was selected by NASA to join the astronaut corps. In her own right, she speaks Russian, Japanese, and Swahili.


After a year of training, she became the first female African American astronaut. On Sept. 12, 1992, Mae Jemison became the first African American woman in space when the space shuttle Endeavour made 126 orbits around the Earth. A mission specialist, she was a co-investigator of two bone cell research experiments. She logged 190 hours, 30 minutes, and 23 seconds in space.

Jemison left NASA in March 1993. She went on to teach at Dartmouth College and also the Jemison Group, seeking to encourage a love of science in students and bring advanced technology around the world. She is a strong advocate for science, establishing an international science camp for high school students and working on the 100-Year Starship program. She is retired, but continues to advocate strongly in favor of science education and getting minority students interested in science.

Awards and Honors

Jemison has an extensive list of honors, including but not limited to; National Achievement Scholarship,  Recipient of Essence Award, and Gamma Sigma Gamma Woman of the Year; Honorary Doctorate of Sciences, Lincoln College, Pennsylvania; Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Winston Salem College, North Carolina, DuSable Museum Award and more.


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