A is for Astronaut

A is for… Astronaut!

Mae Jemison (photo credit: NASA on The Commons)

This is Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the first woman of color in space. Described by NASA as “the first African-American astronaut,” she first entered space in 1992 aboard the space shuttle Endeavour as a mission specialist. She originally completed her astronaut training in 1988, after being chosen for the space program in 1987.

She left the agency in 1993 to accept a teaching fellowship at Dartmouth, and later went on to found both the Jemison Group and 100 Year Starship, an organization that seeks to enable the capability for interstellar human space flight by 2112.

You can follow her on Twitter @maejemison.

Being an astronaut requires a lot of hard work and studying, as well as physical stamina and training. Indeed, NASA’s Astronaut Requirements include:

  • A bachelor’s degree in engineering, a biological science, physical science, or mathematics;
  • At least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft; and
  • The ability to pass the space physical – which includes the additional requirements of 20/100 or better uncorrected vision, blood pressure 140/90, and a height between 62 and 75 inches (5’1″ to 6’9″).

But, let’s face it… it’s got to be pretty cool to be able to do this at work:

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor (photo credit: NASA on The Commons)

Want to become an astronaut? Read more about the Astronaut Selection Program, and the other International Space Agencies around the world (not to mention SpaceX, which just made history by launching and landing a used rocket on March 30!), along with these brief articles.

Further Reading

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Other Awesome Jobs That Start With A

  • Actor
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Archeologist
  • Architect
  • Artist
  • Athlete
  • Author
  • Aviator

Want to learn about even more cool jobs?

Pre-order the book, World’s Coolest Jobs, a collection of all the coolest jobs you never knew existed. On sale September 1, 2017.

7 thoughts on “A is for Astronaut”

  1. Ooooo, now that is the perfect start Laura – space travel being one of my most favourite things since I was that young girl standing in the garden, gazing at the moon as Neil Armstrong walked (I didn’t see the TV coverage till some years later).

    Bunny and the Bloke

    1. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are so many more options for space travel these days! I’m also hoping that one of NASA’s first points in their mission to send humans to Mars involves strapping Trump to a rocket and blasting him into space, but that’s another issue altogether. 😉

  2. I have very mixed feelings about being an astronaut. There are definitely some very cool aspects. On the other hand I tend to feel claustrophobic at times. Maybe I’d be okay in a somewhat larger space like a space station, but those tiny more confined spaces could trigger a panic response in me. But I can still see the cool factor.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. I definitely could see some down sides to being in space. They say it affects your eyesight, actually, and mine is already quite poor… but it sounds like that’s just one of the things that astronauts learn to live with. Gotta be adaptable when your food comes out of a freeze-dried packet, too. 😉

    1. Definitely! I am inspired by their balance between physical and mental prowess; I certainly aspire to join more of my intellectual and physical life, and get out of the writer’s chair much more. 🙂

  3. Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the first woman of color in space? I tip my hat to this extraordinary lady! What an achievement!
    Fascinating theme…I had to backtrack and check out all the posts I missed.

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