Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Black BiographyBlack History Fact

Meet The First Black Woman To Travel To Space, Mae Carol Jemison

The last child of Charlie Jemison and Dorothy Jemison, Mae Carol Jemison was born on 17th of October 1956 in Decatur, Alabama, US.

Her father, a carpenter while her mom, an elementary school teacher, moved to Chicago while Carol Jemison was just 3 to give their children a better education.
Through the help of her uncle, Carol Jemison developed interests in anthropology, archaeology, evolution, and astronomy.

At age of 12, Carol got admitted to Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Illinois, there she became interested in studying biomedical engineering. She also joined the school cheerleading team.

In 1973, Carol graduated from Morgan Park High School, at the age of 16 and entered Stanford University on a National Achievement Scholarship.
She was honored with Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering and African American studies 1977.

After graduating from Stanford University, Jemison attended Cornell University. Ithaca, New York, to attain knowledge in international medicine.
During her time at Cornell University, she traveled to Cuba, and Kenya to conduct a study funded by American Medical Student Association and to Thailand, where she worked at a Cambodian refugee camp.
She later graduated with an M.D. degree in 1981, there she worked at County-USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, in 1982.

Carol Jemison, in 1983 till 1985 worked for the Peace Corps as a medical in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
She also worked at the Centers for Disease Control, making research for vaccines.

In October 1985, Mae Jemison applied for the NASA astronaut training program which was postponed. In 1987, she applied again and made the cut of 15 candidates selected out of the 2000 applicants.

She was picked on 28 September 1989, for the STS-47 crew as Mission Specialist 4. Then on September 12, 1992 Jemison flew to space along with other 6 astronauts on STS-47 a joint mission between the US and Japan for 8 days.
While on space, she carried out experiments on motion sickness and weightlessness on everyone aboard.
She spent 190 hours orbiting the earth before she returned to earth on 20th of September, 1992.

After Jemison resigned from NASA in March 1993, she started her own company, The Jemison Group Inc – a consulting firm for sociocultural impact of technology design and advancement.

Jemison in honor of her mother, founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, in 1994 – a science camp for young students.
In 1995 to 2002, She was a professor at Dartmouth College.
She was also a professor of environmental studies 1999 at Cornell University teaching science education.
She wrote a book “Find Where the Wind Goes” in 2001.

She established BioSentient Corp and acquired a license to commercialize AFTE, the technique she tested on those with her during their mission on space.
In 2012, Jemison made the winning bid for the DARPA 100 Year Starship project under the name Dorothy Jemison Foundation and was awarded a $500,000 grant for further works with Jemison as the head.


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