36-year-old Mae Carol Jemison becomes the first-ever African-American woman to fly into space

36-year-old Mae Carol Jemison becomes the first-ever African-American woman to fly into space

A multi-talented woman from Alabama United States, Mae Carol Jemison has set the record as the first-ever African-American woman to fly to space after completing a mission with America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1992.

Mae Carol Jemison, now 66, became an inspiration for many young scholars across the world after setting her record achievement. As a young girl, she found interest in science and arts and started dancing at the age of eleven.

At the young age of 16, she was accepted to Stanford University in California, United States to earn a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. After a series of exceptional academic journeys, she graduated from the institution with two Bachelor’s degrees, in Chemical Engineering and also a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies.

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Shortly after earning two degrees at Stanford University, Mae Carol Jemison enrolled to become a Medical Doctor at Cornell University in New York, United States.

Mae Carol Jemison later became a Medical Doctor in 1981, adding to her series of academic achievements which included being a Chemical Engineer. She joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and worked as an astronaut in the Space centre.

Jemison was in the first group of astronauts chosen after the lapse in flights following the Challenger explosion and flew on Sept. 12, 1992 making 127 orbits of the Earth.

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Jemison expressed delight to be a source of reference to people out there that their dreams are possible. “I’m not the first woman of color, the first African-American woman, who had the skills, the talent, the desire to be an astronaut. I know that I happen to be the first one that NASA selected, right now the only one,” she said, at the time.

Before setting the new record, only three Black Americans, all men, had flown in space.

“I don’t want it to just be Lt. Uhura in `Star Trek,’ whom I watched all the time and I thought it was wonderful. … I want people to know those things can be true, and they’re real,” she added.