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Female Frontiers QuestChat Archive

Date: March 3, 1999

Featuring: Mae Jemison
Founder, The Jemison Group, Inc.
Houston, TX

[ Linda/NASAQuest - 0 - 19:19:33 ]
Join us here Wednesday, March 3 at 11:30am for an hour's chat with Mae Jemison, First African-American woman to fly in Space. Be sure to see her profile online at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/frontiers/jemison.html

[ Linda/NASAQuest - 1 - 19:22:04 ]
This room is in moderation, which means that you may not see your question right away. Please be patient. There is no reason to resubmit it. This is a very popular chat. We will answer as many questions as time allows.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 6 - 11:30:55 ]
RE: [Emily] What were the findings of your research on bone cells in space?
Basically, we had some problems. The cell chambers became contaminated. We weren't able to find as much informatrion we needed. We needed to rework the experiment. We found information about the equipment should worek. In space exploration things don't always work out the way you expect them to.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 8 - 11:32:15 ]
RE: [Helen] How old were you when you decided to become an Astronaut?
I wanted to go into space ever since I can remember. I decided to apply to the astronaut program when I was in medical school (in my early 20s). I sent my application in when I was 28. I joined the astronaut program when I was in 30.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 9 - 11:34:14 ]
RE: [Massey/SecondGrade] Hi! Dr. Jemison! We are in second grade and this is our first chat with an astronaut. Thank you for giving us some time today to answer questions. Our first question is, "When you were in space, what was the most fun?"
I was in space in 1992 aboard the space shuttle Endeavor. You can find our more in my profile. I don't break things up into what was most and least fun. Everything was exciting.. But it was pretty neat to float.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 12 - 11:37:33 ]
RE: [Rebecca] Dear Dr. Jemison, What is your vision for our space program? Do you think that we will be able to colonize Mars? Thank you for being the person that you are. It excites me to share your story with the students of Redondo. It would be so wonderful if you could visit us. We have a Career Day planned for April 23. By the way, did you know that Homestead Air Force Base is up for consideration as a privatized space shuttle site? If you are in the neighborhood of Homestead, FL, please remember Redondo Elementary School. Stop in and see us. Redondo loves you! Sincerely, Rebecca Meeks, Library Lady, Redondo
Thanks for the good wishes. I believe the space program should continue to be integrated with the rest of the international space communiuty. The best combination is something that includes human space flight as well as robtoic missions. We also have to consider using remote sensing technologies and satellite-based telecommunications for improving life in developing countries. This means that everyone in the world will benefit from rhe resources of space. After all, it's our birthright.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 13 - 11:39:18 ]
RE: [rebecca] What influence does Valentina Tereshkova have on you, if any?
She was the first woman to go into space in 1964 as a Russian cosmonaut. As a little girl, it was an affirmation of what I knew anyway-- that women have every capability and right to be involved in space exploration. Her space flight demonstrated that it's up to society to use a talent that everyone has.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 14 - 11:40:15 ]
RE: [Sarah/Belton] Hi! I was just wondering, did the guys on the shuttle treat you any different just because you were a female?
If they did, that was their problem. But I knew I did an excellent job on my work. But I did treat them differently because they were guys. :-)

[ Linda/NASAQuest - 20 - 11:42:49 ]
RE: [MsFish] Good Morning Dr. Jemison! My name is Ms. Fish and I am a science teacher at John Muir Middle School in San Leandro, CA. I am here with some of my favorite students and we have some questions for you.
Welcome! We're delighted to have you.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 22 - 11:44:11 ]
RE: [Kellye] What inspired you to finally make your dream come true? Was it hard to take a absence from th medical study?
No, because you do medicine in space. My interest has always been in research, though I did practice with patients for a few years. In space exploration, there is lots of medicine and life sciences involved. Right now, I work as a professor of environmental studies. I use all of medical training to identify the issues and solutions for keeping us helathy and the planet healthy.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 25 - 11:46:02 ]
RE: [Duha] Hi Dr Jemison. Iam a university student,this is my first time chating with an astronaut.Iam realy excited. Dr,why did you only fly once into space?
I was with NASA as an astronautt for 6 years-- a pretty good chunk of time. I had other places I wanted to use my skills. Check out the Jemison Institue page on the Dartmouth College web site, at http://www.dartmouth.edu.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 26 - 11:46:22 ]
RE: [jocelin] Are you planning to go back into space?
Who knows? John Glenn went.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 29 - 11:47:11 ]
RE: [Sadie] Dear Dr. Jemison, I am a high school student and I am interested in being an astronaut. I was wondering if you had any pointers concerning college courses that might give me an edge when I apply?
You can learn more about the astronaut program on the NASA Johnson Space Center web site, at http://www.jsc.nasa.gov.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 33 - 11:49:12 ]
RE: [Nicole] Whats it like in space? Can you see stars and planets?
The space shuttle orbits the Earth at about 260 nautical miles. From there, the planets and stars look basically the same as they do on Earth, except that they are brighter. I would love to have the opportunity to go to the moon or Mars, where the Earth then becomes a planet that we see from far away.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 35 - 11:51:16 ]
RE: [hannah] What did you do at the Cambodian Refegee Camp?
I was a fourth year medical student and I helped to take care of patients in the emergency room of the refugee camp. I also helped to oversee the asthma clinic there. There was a very high incidence of asthma in the camp. It was one of the best experiences of my life because I learned so much about myself, as I viewed the world from a very different perspective.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 38 - 11:52:41 ]
RE: [Haik] What is the biggest efect that the mission has had on your life?
There were many effects, but the biggest was the noteriety, and I got to be on an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 39 - 11:54:34 ]
RE: [Beth] What was it like to be in space for the first time in your life? Were you scared?
No, I was not. Actually it was very fulfilling. It was assuring to think/feel that I belonged anywhere in this universe, whether it was on Earth and the River Nile, or in a star system 10,000 light years away.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 41 - 11:56:03 ]
RE: [MsBridle/HanesMiddle] Mae, My class was so impressed with your life's story when we researched you. My students wanted to know what was your nickname when you were very young? We enjoyed reading the questions the other students asked you. Justin Lloyd wants to know ,"exactely what were you thinking when you were exiting the Earth's atmosphere and that orange color was outside your rocket?
My older brother and sisters had nicknames for me, but I won't share them. I just had a big smile on my face, and was very excited. I don't remember exactly what I was thinking. I just remember I was happy.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 43 - 11:57:32 ]
RE: [Hannah] What advice would you give to young girls who are considering a career in science or technology fields?
They should understand they have as much right and talent and responsibility to be in those fields as anyone else. They don't have to ask anyone's permission.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 48 - 12:02:46 ]
RE: [Allie] Who were some role models that you envied when you focused on accompling you dreams in Science.
Perhaps you used the word envy inadvertantly. There were people I admired who were in science. Most notable, Linus Pauling, who won a Nobel Prize in biochemistry for his work demonstrating that the amino acid sequence determined the 3 dimensional shape and function of proteins. That was revolutionary to modern biochemistry. He also won a Nobel Peace prize for his work on nuclear disarmament. I cannot call him role model because I didn't know him. But he was certainly a very powerful image of what a scientist should be. My best role models were my mother and father , who always demanded and demonstrated that one should seek to understand the world around them, and always be open to learning.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 49 - 12:04:05 ]
RE: [mrsmcd/alicia] What was your job on the Endeavoar misson on Sept.12, 1992?
You can find out about my responsibilities on the Astronaut pages, on the NASA Johnson Space Center web site, at http://www.jsc.nasa.gov

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 50 - 12:04:40 ]
RE: [Sabrina] Would you like to live in space and for how long?
Yes, and for as long as I could stay healthy.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 52 - 12:05:39 ]
RE: [DanielleAshleyAustin/TheWhiteLakeSchool] We are students at The White Lake School in Fort Worth, Texas. We have a queation to ask you. Why did you get degrees in so many fields, and what other fields interest you?
Check out the Jemison Institute web pages on the Dartmouth College site at http://www.dartmouth.edu.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 53 - 12:05:54 ]
RE: [CHUCKBailey/WLS] My study budy and I are students at WLS in Fort Worth.Why did you quit NASA.
Check out the Jemison Institute web pages on the Dartmouth College site at http://www.dartmouth.edu.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 59 - 12:09:38 ]
RE: [Sarah/Belton] How do you feel about being a role model for young women?
I think role models are the people you are around, like parents and guardians. You learn how to deal with success and failure from them, what public figure can be, and what is possible. I do recognize what I say and the things I do may have an impact on people. So I need to be responsible in my actions and behavior.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 60 - 12:10:29 ]
RE: [Haik] Wasthe star treck ship anything like a real ship that they could use in real life?
No, it was just a studio set. But I did get to meet Worf; that was the cool part.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 61 - 12:11:24 ]
RE: [Beth] Who did you miss the most when you were in space and how did you deal with it?
I was only gone 8 days but I missed my cat, Sneeze, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

[ Linda/NASAQuest - 62 - 12:11:41 ]
Please remember Mae Jemison has a profile online that can answer some of the questions being posed. It's at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/frontiers/jemison.html

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 63 - 12:12:48 ]
RE: [Nicole] What do you hope to be doing ten years from now
It's tough to think that far ahead. I know that's one of the standard things people ask. One of things I hope to be doing is stil dancing, being healthy, and learning new things.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 68 - 12:15:57 ]
RE: [DelfinLauren/TheWhiteLakeSchool] We are students from Fort Worth, TX. We are just wondering what episode of Star Trek were you in?
The episode called "Second Chance", the one with 2 Commander Rikers due to a transporter malfunction 12 years previously.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 70 - 12:18:43 ]
RE: [Hannah] What was something you learned from this mission?
The frog embryology experiment was exciting, where we had frogs lay eggs in space. We watched the development of the tadpoles. Surprisingly, there were no defects. So we learned that amphibian eggs do know how to organize themselves into tadpoles even in weightlessness.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 74 - 12:20:15 ]
RE: [AaronCourtney] Hello My name is Aaron Gwaltney and my studybudy Courtney, We were wondering what year did you found the Jemison Group Inc. in Houston,TX and what does it do?
I founded the Jemison Group in 1993 and it's a technology consulting company. We also put together an international science camp called the Earth We Share. Check it out at http://www.applemasters.com

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 76 - 12:21:17 ]
RE: [Laura] Have you resumed your medical practice? <):^)
Nio I am not. I teach environmental studies at Dartmouth College.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 78 - 12:23:49 ]
RE: [Kelly] Mae, was one of the reasons you wanted to be so advanced in science because you had the competition with your two older siblings?
Having older brothers and sisters helped me learn more quickly. But not because I was competing with them. I read their books and understood what they were doing. I understood what I was doing when I got to school. Being precoucious, I was never bored, so I could always strecth my imagination. They expected me to bne on their level.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 80 - 12:25:12 ]
RE: [Cher] What obstacles did you face being a female in some fields primarily dominated by men.
Most of the obstacles had to do with people's expectations of me, and the fact that many times I had to do and accomplish more than my male counterparts just to be considered adequate.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 81 - 12:26:31 ]
RE: [MsBridle/HanesMiddle] What fascinates you about outer space? Do you know Stephen Hawking personally? Do you do research with other latin american countries about the space?
Everything. No, I do not know Stephen Hawkings. I spend a lot of time working with the ides of developing countries and space exploration. That includes Latin American countries.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 82 - 12:27:16 ]
RE: [Haik] ;]:> >:) :) Hi Dr.Jemison I would like to know how you feel about the world setting up a colony or civilazation on another planet? Do you think that we will acomplish this task any time soon?
I think it would be pretty cool, but I doubt we would do it in the next 10-15 years. But I'm game.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 85 - 12:30:45 ]
RE: [Haik] Where are your international space camps based? What is the philosophy of The Earth We Share Camp?
It's not a space camp. It's a science camp called the International Science Camp (The Earth We Share Camp). Read about the camp on http://www.applemasters.com.

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 86 - 12:31:06 ]
RE: [Haik] Do you ever visit schools to speak to children about your experiences in space and the Peace Corps?

[ MaeJemison/Houston - 87 - 12:33:41 ]
Thank you very much to everyone for chatting with me today. I really enjoyed it and hope to do so again sometime. Have a great day!

[ Linda/NASAQuest - 88 - 12:35:14 ]
We would like to thank Dr. Jemison for joining us today. I recognize that many questions were not answered, but then many can be answered by going to the Johnson Space Center that gives you information about astronauts, how to become one and how some thing "feels" in space. Go to: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/more.html and do a little research.

[ Linda/NASAQuest - 89 - 12:36:30 ]
Thank you all for joining us with your thoughtful questions. Please do give us feedback at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys

[ Laura - 90 - 12:38:17 ]
I think that you being a female pioneer is wonderful and i hope that other women will follow in your footsteps. -Lauraº¿º <):^)

[ Allie - 91 - 12:38:17 ]
Well Dr.Jemison is was a pleasure talking to you even though I did not get to see the answers to my questions, but I hope you have a happy and healthy life, and enjoy the rest of your day.

[ Haik - 92 - 12:38:17 ]
I think that you being a frontier is so totaly cool i hope you do this again?

[ MsBridle/HanesMiddle - 93 - 12:38:17 ]
Mae, We truely appreciate you taking the time to chat with us and others around the world. Time is truely the most valuable thing a person has to give. We appreciate your generosity! If you ever find yourself near Winston-Salem, North Carolina, please feel free to come to Hanes Middle School and meet some of your fans. Respectfully and sincerely, Luann Bridle

[ Kelly - 94 - 12:38:17 ]
I think that is very cool that you had the strenth to be the first African Amerian to go to space. What an honor!!

[ Nicole - 95 - 12:41:33 ]
Hi Dr Jemison, i was wondering if you are ever in New Canaan Ct i would wish tha tyou could come to my school saxe middle school

[ MissDuha/SharjahUniversity - 96 - 12:42:57 ]
Its was great chating with you Dr,hope you have a great day.


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