Find out why NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison wanted to go into space in this profile from NOVA’s The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers.

A physician, a chemical engineer, a teacher, a dancer, and the first African American female astronaut to go to space, Dr. Jemison launched into orbit on September 12, 1992 as a STS-47 Mission Specialist for Space Shuttle Endeavor. During the eight day mission, she and the STS-47 crew conducted 44 life science and materials processing experiments.

mae jemison
Dr. Jemison is currently working on the 100 Year Starship study, a NASA/DARPA backed project to identify and map out the required technologies for achieving interstellar travel.

In the archives: more astronauts, more space, and more women in STEM fields.

See more videos about...