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Mae Jemison

Jemison earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Stanford in 1977 and would apply her knowledge and academic excellence to medical school and to becoming a physician.

But it was her next career leap for which she will be most remembered. Jemison became the first woman of color in space as an astronaut aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour and then logging additional time as a member of Spacelab. In total, Jemison has logged 190 hours, 30 minutes, 23 seconds in space. In the years since, she has received 9 honorary doctorates and, in 2012, authored the winning bid on DARPA’s 100 Year Starship project that aims to make human interstellar travel a reality within the next century.