She Was The First African American Woman To Travel Into Space, And She Put In Years Of Hard Work To Make History

After the Space Shuttle Challenger tragically exploded in 1986, NASA took a break from accepting applicants into the program. So, Mae tried again in 1987 and was one of 15 people chosen for the program out of around 2,000 applicants.

Mae began her training at NASA and worked on projects at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory. In 1989, she received her first mission and was chosen to join the STS-47 crew as a Mission Specialist, which made her responsible for conducting scientific experiments on a space mission.

On September 12, 1992, Mae became the first African American woman to go to space as she and six other astronauts rode on the Endeavour on mission STS47.

They were in space for eight days, and Mae conducted several experiments on motion sickness, frog fertilization in space, weightlessness in space, etc. 

Following her historic trip, Mae started advocating for men and women to have equal opportunities as astronauts. She worked for NASA as an astronaut for a total of six years and left in 1993. She began teaching environmental studies at Dartmouth College and became a public speaker.

Mae also founded the Jemison Group, a technology consulting firm that focuses on the design of science and engineering projects.

Recently, Mae has been leading a non-profit educational foundation called the 100 Year Starship, which is funded by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Mae is a spectacular woman who paved the way for many other women in STEM.

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