Extreme Humans

Mae Jemison – The First African American Woman In Space

Last Updated on September 16, 2020 by Darshan Modi

Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, was born in Decatur, Alabama, United States. She is an engineer, physician, actress, author, teacher, excellent dancer, Peace Corps volunteer and NASA astronaut. Her interest for science and technology started at a very young age. As NASA astronaut, she cycled the earth 127 times and spent 190 hours, 30 minutes, and 23 seconds in space. She speaks four languages and has receive many honorary awards in science, engineering, languages and humanities.

Mae Jemison
Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison Superhuman Superower

Mae never thought she will be the first African American woman in space, she only has great predilection for stars from childhood. Her desire to go to space gave her courage to apply for NASA astronaut despite her medical career. This determination makes her to reapply to NASA astronaut group in 1987 following her rejection in 1986 due to challenger disaster.


Mae Jemison was born on 17th October, 1956 in Decatur, Alabama, United State. She is the last born of her parents. Her father, Charlie Jemison, was a maintenance supervisor in a charity organization while her mother, Dorothy Green, was an elementary school teacher as at the time of her birth.

Early Life of Mae Jemison

Mae spent her first three years in Decatur, Alabama before her family relocated to Chicago, Illinois for greener pasture. In 1967, Mae started dancing and learnt different kinds of dance: African, ballet, jazz, modern and Japanese dancing. Her secondary education was at Morgan Park High School, Chicago where she graduated at age 16 as an honor student.

ALSO READ ABOUT:   Fiona Gameson - The Bat-Woman

About Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison grew up with her family in Chicago. She has a great passion for dancing and started dancing at age 11. At this tender age, she learnt various type of dancing and auditioned for several roles. She gained admission into Stanford University to study B.S. chemical engineering and B.A. African and Afro-American Studies at the age of 16. She was the Black students Union’s President while in college.

After her 4 years’ college education, she contemplated on whether to become a professional dancer or doctor. She was later advised by her mother to go for medicine. In 1981, Mae graduated from Cornell Medical College and had her internship at Los-Angeles County-USC Medical Center in 1982. Mae volunteered for Peace Corps serving in Liberia and Sierra Leone for 2 years immediately she concluded her internship.

In 1985, she returned to United States and applied for astronaut program in NASA in order to follow her childhood dreams. Due to the challenger disaster that occurred at the astronaut program in January, 1986, her offer was not granted.

She reapplied for the astronaut program in 1987 and was selected for the training in which she was trained as science mission specialist for a year.

In September 12, 1992, Jemison with six other astronauts flew to space on a mission STS47. This mission made her the first African American in space. She carried out many experiments while in space for instance experiment on weightlessness and motion sickness on herself and crew members. In September 20, 1992, Jemison returned from space after spending 8days in space.

ALSO READ ABOUT:   Franz Muellner - World's Strongest Man

In March 1993, Mae left NASA so as to relate social sciences with technology. Mae created her own technology company that same year which carries out various experiment on space. She became a Professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College in the years 1995 to 2002. Jemison is presently a Professor at Cornell University. She is an author of great books which School Library Journal finds impressive. She has appeared in many television programs such as world of wonder in Discovery Channel and movies such as Star trek. Jemison have collected numerous awards and honorary doctorates: 1988 Essence Science and Technology Award, 1990 Gamma Sigma Woman of the year, 1991 Doctor of Science, Lincoln College among others.

Genetic or Learned

Mae’s ability was acquired. She was trained by NASA for a year before she flew out of space.

Names Known By

  • The first African-American Astronaut
  • The first real-life Astronaut to appear on Star Trek movie

Official Website

Mae Jemison Youtube Videos

Featured In

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • YouTube videos
  • Blogs
  • Websites
  • TEDx
  • NASA

Books Published by Mae Jemison

  • Find where the wind goes: moments from my life – https://www.amazon.com/Find-Where-Wind-Goes-Moments/dp/0439131952
  • Discovering New Planets (True Books: Dr. Mae Jemison and 100 Year Starship) – https://www.amazon.com/Jemison-Discovering-Planets-True-Books/dp/B00SCV4320
  • Journey Through Our Solar System (True Books: Dr. Mae Jemison and 100 Year Starship) – https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Through-Solar-System-Books/dp/0531240614
  • Exploring Our Sun (True Books: Dr. Mae Jemison and 100 Year Starship) – https://www.amazon.com/Exploring-Our-Sun-True-Books/dp/B01070ZU7K
  • The 100 Year Starship (True Books: Dr. Mae Jemison and 100 Year Starship) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Year-Starship-True-Books/dp/0531240606