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Mae Jemison

Stories of Atlanta: Mae Jemison

NASA allows astronauts to bring a few personal items on space missions provided the objects only weigh about 2 pounds and can fit into a box the size of a book. Sheet music for Beethoven’s Ode to Joy has gone to space, as well as NASCAR Starter Flags and a Toy Story Buzz Lightyear doll.

There have been items of cultural significance, such as sheet music for Beethoven’s "Ode to Joy" and less classical items like NASCAR Starter Flags. Other cargo has given a nod to pop culture, including a Toy Story Buzz Lightyear doll.  Even human ashes have traveled into space, such as those of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. There have been patches and flags and medallions and various other items that held personal meaning to astronauts.

But in 1992, a history-making mission by the first female African-American astronaut to tracel to space, Mae Jemison, included cargo that connected Atlanta and Spelman College with space.

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