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Barbara Schwartz March 5, 1993

RELEASE No. 93-016

ASTRONAUT JEMISON TO LEAVE NASA

Mae C. Jemison, M.D., announced that she will leave NASA March 8 to pursue interests in "teaching, mentoring, health care issues and increasing participation in science and technology of those who have traditionally been left out."

"I leave with the honor of having been the first woman of color in space, and with an appreciation of NASA--the organization that gave me the opportunity to make one of my dreams possible. The experiences of the NASA astronaut program

have opened many doors, and provided a way to put my hard work and training to use for the good of others," said Jemison.

Jemison, 36, was selected for the astronaut program in June 1987. She was a science mission specialist on STS-47, Spacelab-J, in September 1992, a cooperative mission with the Japanese to study life sciences and materials processing. Jemison was a co-investigator on the bone cell research experiment flown on that mission.

Jemison earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Stanford and a doctorate degree in medicine from Cornell. Her work experience included medical research, a stint as Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa, and a physician for a nation-wide health care

organization.

"Mae is an outstanding role model. We are sorry to see her go. I am certain that in our future recruiting efforts we will be able to welcome to the astronaut corps talented young scientists and engineers who have been inspired by Mae's

accomplishments. We wish her continued success in whatever she pursues," director of Flight Crew Operations David C. Leestma said.

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