By now most people following space exploration
know (or should know) that Mae Carol Jemison, pictured here at the opening
of Women of the World Summit held in New York City in April 2019, was
the first black woman to travel in space when she served as a mission
specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Jemison joined NASA's astronaut corps in 1987 and was selected to serve
for the STS-47 mission, during which she orbited the Earth for nearly
eight days on September 12–20, 1992.
Born in Alabama and raised in Chicago, Ms.
Jemison graduated from Stanford University with degrees in chemical engineering
as well as African and African-American studies.
She then earned her medical degree from
Cornell University. Jemison was a doctor for the Peace Corps in Liberia
and Sierra Leone from 1983 until 1985 and worked as a general practitioner.
Mae Jemison left NASA in 1993 and founded
a technology research company.
She later formed a non-profit educational
foundation and through the foundation is the principal of the 100 Year
Starship project funded by DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency).
Mae Jemison has written several books for
children including the wonderful ‘100 Year Starship’, ‘Journey
Through Our Solar System’, and ‘Discovering New Planets’
that are all available on Amazon.
She has also appeared on television several
times, including in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
But for us, some things Mae Jemison, who
is now 63, has said over the years, resonate for clarity and pure inspiration.
We are launching ourselves into a new decade
during January 2020.
Here Mae joins us for the ride and shares
“It’s your place in the world;
It’s your life.
Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”
In Outer Space
“The really wonderful thing that happened to me when I was in space
was this feeling of belonging to the entire universe.”
“The biggest challenge is to overcome the things in yourself that
keep you from moving forward.
When you do that, then dealing with challenges outside yourself becomes
“Don’t let anybody rob you of your imagination, your creativity,
or your curiosity.”