Mae Carol Jemison, MD, (born 17 October 1956; age 58) is an American physician and astronaut. She was the first African-American woman to travel in space, aboard the shuttle Endeavour. She served as the science mission specialist on the STS-47 Spacelab J flight, which launched 12 September 1992. Jemison was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. She is also a Star Trek fan. While in space, Jemison began each shift by informing Mission Control in Houston that “hailing frequencies were open.”
In 1993 she appeared as Lieutenant junior grade Palmer in the Star Trek: The Next Generation sixth season episode “Second Chances”. Jemison is also a good friend of Nichelle Nichols who visited her on the set while filming “Second Chances.” She has the unique distinction of being the first “real” astronaut to ever appear on Star Trek. She was followed by E. Michael Fincke and Terry Virts, who appeared in Star Trek: Enterprise. Jemison also appeared in the television documentaries Star Trek: 30 Years and Beyond in 1996 and How William Shatner Changed the World in 2005.
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