Astronaut Mae Jemison moves to new career

January 17, 2006

In 1992 Mae Jemison gained fame as the first black female astronaut to go into space, flying on the shuttle Endeavor.

But Jemison, also a physician, although charging $18,000 for a speech, now concerns herself more with healthcare than her space accomplishments.

She spoke Sunday night at Indiana University-Purdue University 36th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dinner in Indianapolis.

"Having been an astronaut gives me a platform," she told the Indianapolis Star during an interview before her speech, "but I'd blow it if I just talked about the shuttle."

Instead, she says she now focuses on what she sees as unacceptable disparities in the quality of healthcare in the United States and Third World nations.

"We talk about taking proper care of people, but we don't do it," she said. "We lack the commitment. Martin Luther King was about doing things. He didn't just have a dream, he got things done.

"My message is about seeing possibilities and having the courage to work toward them."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Amazon deforestation leaps 16 percent in 2015

November 28, 2015

Illegal logging and clearing of Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 16 percent in the last year, the government said, in a setback to the aim of stopping destruction of the world's greatest forest by 2030.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.