Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...


If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

J Is For Dr. Mae Jemison

This lady is a rock star to me. Dr. Mae Jemison, physician and astronaut, was the first African American woman in space when she served on the crew of the shuttle Endeavor back in 1992. I remember sitting around my dorm with a few of my friends and watching the launch. It was amazing.

Brilliant does not even begin to describe Mae. She graduated high school at sixteen and attended Stanford University on a scholarship. She received a B.S. in chemical engineering and also earned enough for an A.B. in African and Afro-American Studies. After graduating medical school from Cornell in 1981, Mae joined the Peace Corps and from 1983 to 1985, she was the area medical officer for the West African nations of Sierra Leone and Liberia. She once stayed awake with a patient for 56 hours straight as the poor patient suffered with meningitis and had to be flown to Germany for treatment.

In 1987, she joined NASA. She was in the first class of astronauts selected after the Challenger disaster.  Her five year stint culminated with her journey on board the Endeavor, where she served as Mission Specialist. Jemison later said of her experience, "The first thing I saw from space was Chicago, my hometown. I was working on the middeck where there aren't many windows, and as we passed over Chicago, the commander called me up to the flight deck. It was such a significant moment because since I was a little girl I had always assumed I would go into space." And guess what? She drew some of her inspiration from Lt. Uhura. Rock on Nichelle Nichols!

After NASA, Jemison has gone on to do even more extraordinary things.  In 1993 she founded The Jemison group, which researched, markets and develops technology for every day life. She also founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence named in honor of her mother. This organization runs The Earth We Share (TEWS) a four week residential science camp for kids which focuses on scientific answers for global problems. She is currently a professor at Dartmouth and in 2009 participated in First Lady Michelle Obama's forum for promising girls in Washington DC.

Fun Factoid

Mae is the  only real astronaut to make  a guest appearance on Star Trek. She played Lt. Palmer in the episode Second Chances of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I appreciate you stopping by today. Your visits and comments mean the world to me. If you want to visit the other wicked cool participants in the big A to Z, please click here.


  1. Great write-up about a cool, interesting and pretty gorgeous woman. Funny that she was the only real astronaut in Star Trek universe :-)

  2. Interesting lady, Melissa. I didn't realize how many accomplishments she had but I do remember that Star Trek episode, :-)


  3. A really impressive person. Such people must be honored.

  4. It always goes back to Star Trek, doesn't it? I think most astronauts claim that show inspired them.
    Really cool she saw Chicago. "Chicago, Chicago, I'm coming home..."

  5. Smart people are so wonderful - well, except for super villains. She sounds like the kind of person er all should strive to be.

  6. Wow, what an amazing woman! So glad to learn something new. As a Trekkie, I especially enjoyed that factoid. Not to diminish all the real stuff she's done, but I just can't shut down my Trekkie-ness...
    Back before the challenge started, I asked you what the difference was between writing romances and writing erotica, and when you commented at Life is Good, you referred to answering me. I never GOT the answer though...will you try again? My email should show with this comment. Thanks.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

  7. Great post! I wish I would have included her in last year's series of famous women of science. And playing a role on Star Trek? That must be out of this world.

  8. so cool that she appeared in STAR TREK too :)

  9. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid. Weren't any great women role models back then. She's awesome.

  10. "The first thing I saw from space was Chicago, my hometown. I was working on the middeck where there aren't many windows, and as we passed over Chicago, the commander called me up to the flight deck. It was such a significant moment because since I was a little girl I had always assumed I would go into space."

    This gave me absolute chills. What a wonderful profile, Melissa.

  11. Also, just browsed your book tab. Wow, prolific!

  12. Wow, a million light years from me in terms of intelligence and achievements. Star trek did make space travel seem as easy as 'beam us up, Scotty'

  13. Astronaut and Star Trek cameo? What more could you want out of life, really? Awesome woman!

  14. Another informative post!
    Dr. Jemison is an inspiration to all young women needing encouragement to develop an independent career.
    http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com Theme: A World of Crime

  15. She sounds like an amazing person!

    And I'm currently watching Star Trek (all of it . . .) for the first time; now I'll have to watch for her. :)

  16. She is a rock star. She could have stopped short of astronaut and she'd still be amazing.

  17. You've picked some more absolutely amazing women! I remember this launch as well. I love that she created a foundation for excellence!
    Thank you!

  18. You're right, Mae's a real rock star. Her contributions to our country make me proud! Thank you, Mae.

  19. My goodness, she's unstoppable. Plus, with the odds against her being an African American woman - amazing! And then she went and appeared on Star Trek. Thanks again for bringing another phenomenal woman to our attention, Melissa.

    Thanks also for your comment on my Virtual People post. I always appreciate your input and support.


  20. Hi...I'm hopping over from the A to Z Challenge. Lovely blog...good luck with the challenge!

    Donna L Martin

  21. Now here's a woman on my radar - astronaut and Star Trek actress? Oh yes, the Doctor is in - my memory, that is - as a hell of a person!


I love, love comments, so please leave your thoughts. I may not always be able to answer directly, but please know that what you say is very important to me.