Early In Life
Astronaut and medical professional Mae C. Jemison came into this world on October 17, 1956, in Decatur, Alabama, the youngest child of Charlie Jemison, a roofer and carpenter, and Dorothy (Green) Jemison, an grammar school teacher. Her sister, Ada Jemison Bullock, became a child psychiatrist, and her brother, Charles Jemison, is a real estate broker. The household relocated to Chicago, Illinois, when Jemison was 3 years old to take advantage of far better academic opportunities, which is the city she calls her home town.
In the course of her early school years, Jemison’s parents were supportive and encouraging of her skills and abilities, and she invested a great deal of time in her school local library reading about all facets of science, particularly astronomy. During her time at Morgan Park High School, she started to be convinced she wanted to pursue a career in biomedical engineering, so when she managed to graduate in 1973 as a consistent honor student, she joined Stanford University on a National Achievement Scholarship.
First Career Choice
As she had been in high school, Jemison was very involved in extracurricular activities at Stanford, such as dancing and movie theater productions, and served as head of the Black Student Union. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical substance engineering from the university in 1977. Upon graduating, she entered Cornell University Medical College and, throughout her years there, she found time to broaden her horizons by learning in Cuba and Kenya and working at a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand.
After she acquired her M.D. in 1981, Jemison interned at Los Angeles County / University of Southern California Medical Center and later worked as a healthcare practitioner. For the next 2. 5 years, Mae C. Jemison was the area Peace Corps healthcare officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia whereby she also taught and did healthcare research. Subsequent her return to the United States in 1985, Jemison created a profession change and chose to follow a dream she had nurtured for a long period. In October of that year, she applied for admission to NASA’s astronaut training course. The Challenger disaster of January 1986 delayed the selection process, but when she reapplied a year later, Jemison had been among the 15 applicants selected from a arena of approximately 2,000.
First Black Female Astronaut
When Mae C. Jemison was selected on June 4, 1987, she became the 1st African-American woman to get admitted into the astronaut training program. For more than a year of training, she became the 1st African-American woman astronaut, earning the title of science mission specialist-a job that would make her accountable for conducting crew-related scientific experiments on the space shuttle.
When Jemison finally flew into space on September 12, 1992, with six other astronauts on-board the Endeavor on mission STS47, she became the 1st African-American woman in space. During her eight days in space, she carried out experiments on weightlessness and motion sickness on the team and herself. In all, she invested more than 190 hours in space before coming back Earth on September 20, 1992. Following her historic flight, Jemison noted that society should recognize how much both women and members of other minority groups can contribute if given the opportunity.
Mae C. Jemison (2015), compliments of Biography.com.