Mae Jemison

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    Mae Jemison in Space

    Mae Jemison in Space (NASA/Public domain)

    Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to become an astronaut. An engineer and physician, she was selected from among 15 finalists out two thousand applicants to be an astronaut. In 1992 she spent more than a week orbiting Earth in the space shuttle Endeavor.

    Jemison was introduced to science by her uncle and at a young age, became interested in biomedical engineering. After graduating from high school at 16, she entered Stanford University and earned a degree in Chemical Engineering and African American Studies,.

    Then, Jemison went on to medical school at Cornell University, and graduated in international medicine . She eventually became a medical officer with the Peace Corps in West Africa, where among several research projects, she worked on the development of a hepatitis B vaccine.

    After returning to the United States, Jemison made history as an astronaut and then worked at NASA. for several years. At her retirement in 1993 she founded a technological research company. She was later inducted in the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the International Space Hall of Fame.

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