Space exploration

The engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut Mae Jemison dreamed on reaching the starts, and she made it.

Jemison knew from early on that she wanted to study science. She grew up admiring Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman who went into space, and the women from the Mercury 13. She was also inspired by Lieutenant Uhura, character from the Star Trek television show.

Following a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in African and African-American studies, Jemison graduated with a medical degree and started practicing medicine.

After Sally Ride went into space, Jemison saw the opportunity and applied to the astronaut NASA program. And in 1992, Jemison and other six astronauts went into space on the Endeavor shuttle, for a 8-day journey. Mae Jemison became the first African American woman traveling into space.

Jemison founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, which among other initiatives, includes science camps for students worldwide. She leads the 100 Year Starship US project, which aims to make feasible interstellar space flight (travel to another star) within the next 100 years.

Jemison strongly advocates for diversity in space exploration, science, and technology, including efforts from kids’ education to the selection of team members in the work force.

Written by: Enriqueta Vallejo-Yagüe.