Would you like to someday be an astronaut? Meet Mae C. Jemison, the first African-American woman astronaut.
Mae C. Jemison (1956- ), is an astronaut, chemical engineer, and physician.She was born October 17, 1956 in Decatur, Alabama to Dorothy and Charlie Jemison. She and her parents moved to Chicago when she was three years old. She loved reading, dancing, and visits to the planetarium. It was in Chicago that she was introduced to the world of science.
She enrolled at Stanford University at the age of 16 and graduated with degrees in both chemical engineering and Afro-American studies. Mae received a Doctor of Medicine degree from Cornell University in 1981. She also volunteered as a doctor in a Cambodian refugee camp and a medical officer in the Peace Corps in Africa. As an astronaut, she performed experiments on weightlessness and motion sickness on the space shuttle Endeavor. She later founded Jemison Group, Inc. to focus on improving healthcare in Africa and advancing technology in developing countries. Dr. Jemison also wrote a book for young readers, Find Where The Wind Goes: Moments from My Life, an autobiography.
In 1983, Guion S. Bluford became the first African-American astronaut to fly in space when he flew on the shuttle Challenger, on August 30.
In 1985, Frederick Drew Gregory became the first African-American space shuttle pilot when he flew the space shuttle Challenger and the second African-American astronaut in space.
Leland Melvin and Dr. Robert (Bobby) Satcher became the first African-American men to fly together on a space shuttle mission in 2008. Dr. Satcher became the first orthopedic surgeon in space. Leland Melvin is NASA's only astronaut who is a former professional athlete (NFL player). He was drafted by the Detroit Lions football team in 1986. Leland is also a chemist.
Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. was the first African-American to walk in space in February 1995.