Mae Jemison, M.D., astronaut

    As an astronaut, M.D., chemical engineer, ACS member, and dancer, Chicago native Dr. Mae Jemison is out of this world! #blackhistorymonth

    At 16, she graduated CPS' Morgan Park High School and went to Stanford University, earning a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1977 while also pursuing Afro-American Studies and choreographing musical theater. After earning an MD from Weill Cornell Medicine (while also visiting Cuba, Kenya, and Thailand to provide medical care) in 1981, Jemison served in the Peace Corps in Africa, supervising lab, pharmacy, and medical staff.

    Most famously, Jemison was the first African-American woman in space. As mission specialist on Space Shuttle STS-47, she conducted research on bone cells, zero-gravity fertilization, and other projects. "The first thing I saw from space was Chicago, my hometown". Inspired by Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura on Star Trek, she began every shift with the fictional officer's popular phrase, "Hailing frequencies open."

    Today, Jemison is a Professor-at-Large at Cornell University, principal of the 100 Year Starship (joint between NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - DARPA), Director on the boards of biotech companies, author, public speaker, dancer with her own studio, occasional actress (the ONLY real astronaut to appear on Star Trek), and...who knows what else!

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