Astronaut Mae of NASA
In 1992, when the space shuttle Endeavour blasted off, NASA astronaut Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to reach space. But astronaut is just one of her many titles. Jemison is also a physician, a Peace Corps volunteer, a teacher, and a founder and president of two technology companies, according to Space.com, a Live Science sister site.
Jemison was born in Decatur, Alabama, on Oct. 17, 1956. When she was 3 years old, she moved with her family to Chicago, where her love for science took off. At age 16, the aspiring scientist attended Stanford University, where she earned degrees in chemical engineering and African and African American studies. She got her doctorate in medicine from Cornell University in New York state in 1981. As a Peace Corps volunteer, Jemison spent time in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
After training with NASA, Jemison and six other astronauts orbited Earth 126 times on the Endeavour. During her 190 hours in space, Jemison helped carry out two experiments on bone cells.
Jemison is also a polyglot, speaking English, Russian, Japanese and Swahili, and she even has a Lego minifigure made in her honor.