Image: Astronaut Mae Jemison suits up for launch, 1992
On Sept. 12, 1992, launch day of the STS-47 Spacelab-J mission on space shuttle Endeavour, NASA astronaut Mae Jemison waits as her suit technician, Sharon McDougle, performs a unpressurized and pressurized leak check on her spacesuit at the Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center.
Dr. Jemison was the science mission specialist on the eight-day joint mission with Japan's space agency, which included 24 materials science and 20 life sciences experiments.
She was the first African-American woman to fly in space. McDougle said of her role as Dr. Jemison's suit tech, "I just wanted it to be a good experience for her. I'm sure it was probably a little scary for her being the first African-American woman to go into space, so I wanted to do my part in making it special for her too. And for me, because I was excited about being a part of history."