Mae Carol Jemison (October 17, 1956 - ) was the first African-American woman in space. Dr. Jemison is a medical doctor and a surgeon, with engineering experience. She was accepted into NASA’s astronaut program in 1987. She flew on the space shuttle Endeavor (STS-47, Spacelab-J) as the Mission Specialist; the mission lifted off on September 12, 1992, and landed on September 20, 1992.
Jemison was the youngest of three children; she was born in Decatur, Alabama, but was brought up in Chicago, Illinois. In 1977, she graduated from Stanford University with degrees in chemical engineering and Afro-American studies. She received a medical degree in 1981 from Cornell University. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) selected Jemison for astronaut training in 1982.
In addition to her native English, Dr. Jemison speaks fluent Russian, Japanese, and Swahili. Jemison appeared on an episode of the TV show “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in 1993.
Dr. Jemison founded the ‘International Science Camp’ in Chicago in 1994; it is a program designed to interest children in science and space. Jemison has practiced medicine in Western Africa and founded the ‘Jemison Group’ to research an develop technology and the ‘Jemison Institute for Advanced Technology in Developing Countries’ at Dartmouth College.