top of page

Authentic autograph in ink on official NASA 8X10 photograph. COA included. 


On September 12, 1992, Dr. Mae Carol Jemison made history by becoming the first African American woman to travel to space. Her journey aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour marked a significant milestone in both the space exploration and civil rights movements. This briefing aims to provide an overview of Dr. Jemison's life, her mission, and the broader historical context of her achievement.


Background: Dr. Mae C. Jemison was born on October 17, 1956, in Decatur, Alabama, but was raised in Chicago, Illinois. From a young age, she displayed an extraordinary interest in science and space exploration, inspired in part by the Apollo missions of the 1960s. Jemison excelled academically, graduated from Morgan Park High School, and went on to study chemical engineering at Stanford University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree. She later obtained her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from Cornell University Medical College.


Selection as an Astronaut: Dr. Jemison's dream of becoming an astronaut persisted throughout her medical career. In 1987, she applied to NASA's astronaut program, a process that was highly competitive and rigorous. Her selection as one of the 15 candidates out of over 2,000 applicants was a testament to her exceptional skills, determination, and the changing landscape of diversity within NASA.


Mission STS-47: Mae Jemison's historic journey to space took place aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour during the STS-47 mission. The launch occurred on September 12, 1992, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. She served as a Mission Specialist, responsible for conducting scientific experiments on the shuttle's Spacelab module. Dr. Jemison's participation in this mission marked a significant step forward in promoting diversity in the field of space exploration and inspiring individuals from underrepresented communities to pursue careers in science and technology.


Legacy and Impact: Mae Jemison's achievement as the first Black woman in space had a profound impact on society. It shattered stereotypes and served as an inspiration to countless young girls and boys, particularly those from minority backgrounds, encouraging them to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Her success also highlighted the importance of diversity in the space program and the broader scientific community.


Dr. Jemison's career did not end with her historic spaceflight. She continued to contribute to science, education, and technology initiatives, founding organizations like The Jemison Group and participating in various humanitarian and educational projects aimed at advancing STEM education and diversity.


 Dr. Mae Jemison's journey into space as the first Black woman was a remarkable achievement that transcended boundaries, broke barriers, and inspired generations of aspiring scientists and astronauts. Her legacy continues to shape the fields of space exploration and STEM education, reminding us of the power of determination, diversity, and the pursuit of knowledge in the pursuit of human progress.

Mae Jemison Autograph - The First Black Woman in Space

SKU: Mae Jemison Autograph

    Related Products