Mae C. Jemison is the first African-American female astronaut and the first African-American woman to ever go to space, according to Biography. She is also a trained dancer, doctor of medicine and Peace Corps volunteer, but being the first African-American female astronaut is what made her famous.Know More
Jemison graduated high school at the age of 16 and went on to receive an engineering degree from Stanford University. She continued her education by attending medical school and earned her doctorate degree from Cornell University in 1981. In 1987, she was the first African-American woman admitted into NASA's astronaut training program. After more than one year of training, she became the first African-American astronaut and began conducting scientific experiments on the space shuttle.
On Sept. 12, 1992, Jemison was an astronaut aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Jemison, along with six other crew members, conducted experiments on motion sickness, weightlessness and more while in space. The Shuttle Endeavor was in space for more than 190 hours before safely returning to Earth on Sept. 20, 1992. Jemison was also the only astronaut to appear on the "Star Trek" television series, according to Biography.Learn more about Space Travel
Alan B. Shepherd became the first American in space on May 5, 1961. He made a sub-orbital flight lasting 15 minutes aboard the Freedom 7 and reached an altitude of 116 miles in space.Full Answer >
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, astronauts are sent into space to operate the International Space Station, help develop commercial spaceflight, investigate the possibilities of human exploration of deep space, develop new technologies and conduct research in a wide range of scientific fields. Many aspects of scientific studies of the Earth and the rest of the universe are easier to conduct from space.Full Answer >
The mysterious "fireflies" that John Glenn saw during his first trip into space were caused by frozen condensation on the skin of his spacecraft. As the capsule moved from light into dark, the condensation froze into tiny snowflakes, and these ice crystals sparkled in the sun when dislodged.Full Answer >
The first rocket to go into space was created by a team of German scientists, led by Wernher von Braun. It was a V-2 rocket used by Germany in World War II. Von Braun and many important members of his team had surrendered to the United States.Full Answer >