Former Astronaut Wins Contract For Interstellar Travel Research

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has chosen a former NASA astronaut to lead a foundation designed to advance space travel, reports Sharon Weinberger of BBC News.

Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to go into space, was chosen to lead the project known as the 100-Year Starship.

The 100-Year Starship project’s goal is to create a foundation that can last 100 years in order to help foster the research needed for interstellar travel.

Jemison’s team won $500,000 from DARPA and NASA to help jumpstart the project.

Jemison left NASA in 1993 after six-years of serving as science mission specialist aboard space shuttle Endeavour.

Since leaving NASA, she has been involved in education and outreach efforts and technology development.

She won the government contract for her proposal titled “An Inclusive Audacious Journey Transforms Life Here on Earth & Beyond.”

Her organization, the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, is already a partner on the project with a non-profit called Icarus Interstellar and a group called the Foundation for Enterprise Development.

Image Caption: STS-47 Mission Specialist Mae Jemison  in the center aisle of the Spacelab Japan (SLJ) science module aboard the Earth-orbiting Endeavour. Credit: NASA

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