Skylab mathematician Jessica Watkins will become the first black woman to visit the International Space Station, a program astronaut Mae Jemison first joined in 1992
Skylab mathematician Jessica Watkins is the first black woman set to travel to the International Space Station, in an historic trip which Nasa has described as the station’s, “first teacher”.
Watkins, who helped design the International Space Station (ISS) 17 years ago, will become the first black woman to visit the space station, a program astronaut Mae Jemison first joined in 1992. Watkins also trained on past missions as an astronaut with Nasa and the former Space Shuttle crew.
Watkins will spend about six months on the ISS as a crew member in an effort to increase the experience of foreigners working in space. There are currently three crew members that will venture to the station this fall – two Russians and a Japanese astronaut. The dates for the final crew are yet to be announced.
The first black NASA astronaut became a success after completing intensive coursework in her teens, to prepare for an engineering career. When Watkins set out to the ISS in 2020 she will follow in the footsteps of two women, Mae Jemison and Sally Ride, who have flown to the ISS and established a precedent for women’s careers in space.