The astronuat who became the first black woman in space in 1992 has been chosen to skipper the ‘100 Year Starship’ project.
Mae Jemison will lead the project to explore what it would take for a multigenerational mission beyond the solar system.
Jemison, 55, from Alabama, played a key role in setting up the 100 Year Starship symposium organized last year by NASA and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Florida.
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Lead role: Mae Jemison will oversee the 100 Year Starship project
Pioneer: Mae Jemison was the first black woman in space in 1992
That led to the award by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of a $500,000 contract to study what is neded for long term projects such as interstellar space missions, msnbc reports.
With the money in the bank, Jemison’s group, the Houston-based Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, now has to take on the challenge of building a programme that can last 100 years which hopefully will result in a starship.
The foundation has teamed with Icarus Interstellar and the Foundation for Enterprise Development.
Adam Crowl, director of Icarus Interstellar, said: ‘Project Icarus will be producing designs and doing basic research with the common goal of building the technical foundation required for eventual successful interstellar flight.