Space Exploration: JFK to Dr. Mae

TUE, DEC 2, 2003 (1:18:03)

Dr. Mae Jemison describes the United States' efforts at space exploration from the Kennedy years through the present. Mae C. Jemison blasted into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992 as the first woman of color to go into space. Dr. Mae Jemison has also founded and been president of two technology companies, and is the only real-life astronaut to appear in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

+ BIO: Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison was born in Decatur, Alabama on October 17, 1956, the youngest of three children. The Jemison family moved to Chicago when Mae was only three. It was in Chicago that an uncle introduced her to the world of science. At a very early age, Mae developed interests in anthropology, archaeology, and astronomy that she pursued throughout her childhood. Mae Jemison enrolled at Stanford University at the age of 16 and in 1977 graduated with degrees in both chemical engineering and Afro-American studies. She received a Doctor of Medicine degree from Cornell University in 1981.

Dr. Jemison has practiced medicine as a volunteer in a Cambodian refugee camp and as a medical officer with the Peace Corps in West Africa. She was working as a general practitioner in Los Angeles, California when NASA selected her and 14 others for astronaut training. Dr. Jemison completed her training as a mission specialist with NASA in 1988. In September of 1992, as a mission specialist aboard the Shuttle Endeavour, Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to enter space.

In 1993, Dr. Jemison resigned from NASA and founded the Jemison Group, Inc. Among her current projects are several that focus on improving healthcare in Africa and advancing technology in developing countries.

Partner
John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
Series
African American Culture Series
American Experience: The Presidents Series
NOVA: Hubble's Amazing Rescue Series
NOVA: Origins Series
PBS NewsHour: Moon Landing Anniversary Series
Women in Science