First African American Woman Astronaut ?? Limitations only exist in the mind and this saying, Dr. Mae C. Jemison the first black woman astronaut knows all too well. Physician, scientist, teacher and astronaut, what really can’t she do?? After Jemison obtained her M.D. in 1981, interning at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center, she later worked as a general practitioner. For the next two and a half years, she was the area Peace Corps medical officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia where she also taught and did medical research, but she felt a void.
Upon her return to the United States in 1985, Jemison decided to follow her dream, she made a career change to astronomy.
In 1986, she applied for admission to NASA’s astronaut training program, a delay occurred, but she didn’t give up and reapplied a year later. Jemison was successful emerging one of the 15 candidates chosen from a field of about 2,000.
On June 4, 1987, Jemison became the first African American woman to be admitted into the NASA astronaut training program. After more than a year of training, she became the first African American woman astronaut, earning the title of science mission specialist.
Jemison on September 12, 1992, finally flew into space with six other astronauts aboard the Endeavour on mission STS47, she became the first African American woman in space.
She spent more than 190 hours in space before returning to Earth on September 20, 1992. History was made.
In recognition of her accomplishments, Jemison received a number of accolades, including several honorary doctorates, the 1988 Essence Science and Technology Award, the Ebony Black Achievement Award in 1992 and a Montgomery Fellowship from Dartmouth College in 1993. She was also named Gamma Sigma Gamma Woman of the Year in 1990. In 1992, the Mae C. Jemison Academy, an alternative public school in Detroit, Michigan, was named after her.
Jemison has been a member of several prominent organizations, including the American Medical Association, amongst many others. ?