born 1956

Since childhood, Mae Jemison always assumed she would travel in space like her favorite Star Trek characters. And, she was always one step ahead of the rest. At just 16, Mae was accepted into Stanford University and proceeded to earn her Doctor of Medicine degree by the age of 25.

In 1992, Mae took to the skies in the space shuttle Endeavor, becoming the first African American woman to travel in space. Her talents and accomplishments don't end there. Mae's also a teacher, accomplished dancer, Peace Corps volunteer and the president + founder of 2 technology companies.

Today, the retired astronaut is leading the movement that's engineering the possibility of human space travel beyond our solar system. Thanks to her vision, we could see Earth's first starship within this century!

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Mae Jemison (12)

"The thing that I have done throughout my life is to do the best job that I can and to be me."

Ebony Magazine {via space.com} | october 1987

"Space belongs to all of us. There is science in dance and art in science."

Essence {via Peace Corps Online} | april 1993

"Images show us possibilities. A lot of times, fantasy is what gets us through to reality."

Stanford Today {via Air Force Reserve Command website} | january 1996

"The biggest challenge is to overcome the things in yourself that keep you from moving forward. When you do that, then dealing with challenges outside yourself becomes easier."

SuperScience | march 2001

"Accidents have happened and will happen. But you don't stop getting into cars just because there was an accident. You just have to figure out ways to make it safer."

SuperScience | 2001

"We're fighting for human advancement, to move the world ahead, for the advancement of human history—exploration always involves risk."

Martin Luther King Commemorative Lecture | 2003

"I had to learn very early not to limit myself due to others' limited imaginations. I have learned these days never to limit anyone else due to my own limited imagination."

Martin Luther King Commemorative Lecture | 2003

"Timidity does not inspire bold acts."

BBC Future | 2012

"We believe that by really trying to stretch ourselves, by mounting and meeting a grand challenge, we can start to fundamentally change life here on earth, and one of our tenets is to change it for the better."

Ebony Magazine | 2012

"I knew full well that people expected me to behave in a certain way. I bucked the system. I don't want mothers saying, 'put that mud down. Stop doing that because you're gonna ruin your dress.' You get dirty sometimes ~ who cares?"

Mae Jemison: First African American Woman in Space | september 2014

"I am as much a part of this universe as any speck of stardust."

Mae Jemison: First African American Woman in Space | september 2014

"You cannot do some of these things and keep your hair all nice."

Mae Jemison: First African American Woman in Space | september 2014
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curated with care by Angela Willard {september 2014}