Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956.) is an American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Jemison joined NASA’s astronaut corps in 1987. and was selected to serve for the STS-47 mission, during which she orbited the Earth for nearly eight days on September 12. – 20. 1992.
Born in Alabama and raised in Chicago, Jemison graduated from Stanford University with degrees in chemical engineering as well as African and African-American studies. She then earned her medical degree from Cornell University. Jemison was a doctor for the Peace Corps in Liberia and Sierra Leone from 1983. until 1985. and worked as a general practitioner.
Jemison left NASA in 1993. and founded a technology research company. She later formed a non-profit educational foundation and through the foundation is the principal of the 100 Year Starship project funded by DARPA. Jemison also wrote several books for children and appeared on television several times, including in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She holds several honorary doctorates and has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the International Space Hall of Fame.
Ok, now you must be wondering why we are writing about a NASA astronaut on this blog?
The reason for this is the fact that, in addition to all written here about her, Mae was also a dancer and a choreographer! Yes, dancing was hers, as she says, first and second love; it always “competed” with science in her life. The big dilemma Mae faced in college was whether to go to medical school in New York or become a professional dancer. She performed as a dancer and as a choreographer and was well paid for it.
In several performances, Mae explained why dancing is useful and important. She constantly emphasizes the importance of the connection between science and art.
I recommend watching the video at the end of the text: “How is it that being a dancer has made me a better astronaut?”
“Dancing is a way to physically explore the world,” says Mae. “Both science and art require creativity to move the world forward.”
She points out that she got the best question from a 12-year-old girl: “How did being a dancer help you be a better astronaut?”. Mae answers: “Dancers have to be very disciplined, you have to practice all the time and you have to pay attention to the people around you, to memorize complicated structures and scenarios, to be” thick-skinned”, because you have to accept criticism and adopt it. It all helps.” She took many things into space, including a poster of one dancer, wanting others to go there with her.
A wonderful story about how dancing can help you go to space or any other place where your dreams come true.
Video „This is how being a dancer makes you a better astronaut“