This Little-Known Quirk Makes Us Love Astronaut Mae Jemison Even More

This Black History Month, let's celebrate the first African-American woman who traveled in space.
Mae Jemison in space.
Mae Jemison in space.

"Hailing frequencies open!"

That's not only the classic line from "Star Trek" -- recited by Lieutenant Uhura, a character played by African-American actress Nichelle Nichols -- but it also was repeated by Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black woman to travel in space, at the start of her shifts on the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992.

The fictional Lieutenant Uhura was an inspiration to Jemison, who went on to inspire other young women of color to pursue careers in science, according to a new video posted to Facebook by Popular Science.

While growing up in Chicago during segregation, Jemison didn't see many women who looked like her in science -- and she was often reminded of her "place" as a young African-American woman, she said Wednesday while giving a lecture at Auburn University in Alabama.

"As a little girl, I was excited, and people kept trying to explain to me why women couldn’t go into space," Jemison said, according to the university's student newspaper, The Plainsman. "I always thought they were full of it."

Who are some other scientists that you would like to recognize in honor of Black History Month? Leave their names in the comments below.

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