Jemison was first black astronaut

Editor’s note: This is another in a series of stories on important women in American history, in celebration of March as National Women’s History Month. Information was provided by members of the Kaua‘i County Committee on the Status of Women. For more information, or to inquire about joining the committee, call Pat Hunter-Williams, 639-0888, or the Office of the Mayor, 241-6300.

In 1992, Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman astronaut.

Intelligent and articulate, Jemison was NASA’s most sought-after public speaker.

From the time she was a child, Jemison’s dream was to become an astronaut.

With interests in science, medicine and engineering, she studied at Stanford and Cornell, then traveled to West Africa as a physician with the Peace Corps.

In 1985, while working as a doctor in Los Angeles, she applied for the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) astronaut program.

Two years later, she was chosen from among thousands of applicants to enter the space program.

As a science mission specialist for NASA, she conducted scientific experiments during space shuttle flights.


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