|↑ Dr. Jemison at left with her suit tech. Sharon Caples McDougle at right (via)|
|↑ Floating in space during STS-47 (via)|
Dr. Mae Jemison, MD.
First black woman in space.
There are about a hundred thousand things I want to say about how awesome this woman is. I love these two photos of her. At top, Mae and her suit tech Sharon Caples McDougle (awesome interview with Sharon here) seem to radiate pure brilliance. It is very obvious that they have a very special relationship and that they both love what they do. Space suits! - absolutely utilitarian - totally freaking cool.
Dr. Mae Jemison is an avid Star Trek fan and especially fond of the character Lieutenant Nyota Uhura. When opening her communications with NASA Mission Control at the beginning of her shifts, Mae would proclaim Uhura's standard line: "Hailing frequencies open". Famously portrayed by Nichelle Nichols, the role of Uhura was one of television's first significant feature roles for a black actor. Spanning from 1966-1969, Nichols' contribution to television came at a significant time during America's Civil Rights Movement - and when Nichols was considering leaving the show, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made a personal plea for her to stay. Nichelle Nichols is also credited to have shared in the very first on-screen interracial kiss on television with co-star William Shatner. As the story goes, Nichols and Shatner purposely messed up every alternate take in which the studio wanted to film versions of the scene that omitted the kiss.
Dr. Jemison did herself appear on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation as Lieutenant Junior-Grade Palmer and is the only real-life astronaut to have ever appeared on the show.
↑ Dr. Mae Jemison as Liutenant J-G Palmer (via)
"Never be limited by other people's imaginations...If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won't exist because you'll have already shut it out ... You can hear other people's wisdom, but you've got to re-evaluate the world for yourself."
– Dr. Jemison at the Annual Biomedical Research
Conference for Minority Students, November 2009