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Mae Jemison

MAKERS Profile

First African-American Woman in Space

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In this video

Mae Jemison talks about dreaming of going to space as a little girl, noticing the gender and racial discrimination in space exploration, and finally reaching the stars. 

Mae's Biography

Childhood dream: To be a scientist
Alma Mater: Stanford University
Current work: Leading the 100 Year Starship, a government-funded project to plan the next 100 years of interstellar travel

Growing up in the southside of Chicago, Mae Jemison was always curious about space. After graduating from Stanford University, she became a medical doctor and worked in Liberia and Sierra Leone as the Peace Corps medical officer. In 1983 she applied to the NASA program, after being inspired by Sally Ride, the first woman in space, and Nichelle Nichols, who acted in Star Trek. At NASA, she became the first female African-American to become an astronaut and go into space. After NASA, she began teaching at universities like Dartmouth College and Cornell University and founded research groups to continue the development of scientific knowledge. She is a doctor, a dancer, an astronaut and holds nine doctorate degrees in the humanities, science, and engineering.