Mae Jemison

first African American woman astronaut


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be the first african american woman astronaut?

Early Life

Mae Jemison was born on October 17, 1956 in Decatur, Alabama, U.S.A. She moved to Chicago, Illinois. Her uncle introduced her to astronomy and science when she was little. There are a few steps before she becomes famous. In Mae’s early life like most kids she went to elementary school. She was a talented dancer. Whenever she had free time during school Mae would go to her school library and read about science and astronomy. When she she went to high school she graduated at the age of sixteen. After she graduated Mae got a national scholarship to Stanford where she became interested in engineering.

adult life

At Stanford, she got two majors in chemical engineering and Afro American studies. Next, she applied for admission at NASA for astronaut training and she was chosen on June 4, 1987. She was the first black woman to be chosen. She was one of the 15 chosen out to 2,000. She was the first African American woman who got into astronaut training. She became an astronaut a year later. She became the mission specialist and was responsible for controlling the crew, science experiments, and the space shuttle.

Major accomplishments

On September 12, 1992 she finally went into space with other people for eight days and they did experiments in the shuttle. She spent more than 190 hours in space before they went back on September 20, 1992. She said “People can contribute if they have the opportunity.” She was named Gamma Sigma Gamma of the year in 1990 and a public school in Detroit Michigan was named Mae C. Jemison Academy after her.


So those are the steps before Mae Jemison became famous. Today she is still alive and is 56 years old. She became a teacher and started her own company.