Black History Month: Sharon McDougle ‘suited up’ the first black woman to travel into space
HOUSTON – In 1992, Dr. Mae Jemison became the first black woman to travel into space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Her name is Sharon McDougle, a former suit tech for the space shuttle program who talked to Houston Life about her incredible story. Sharon McDougle and Dr. Mae Jemison (Sharon McDougle)McDougle was responsible for processing the orange launch and re-entry pressure suit assemblies worn by all NASA space shuttle astronauts, including Jemison. It was like they didn’t even see me,’” said McDougle, who worked with the Space Shuttle Program for 22 years. Sharon McDougle (Sharon McDougle)“Everybody is trainable, that’s one thing I preach.
Local ‘Hidden Figure’ shares story of her history-making aerospace career
Nobody ever asked who was that girl suiting up Dr. Mae,” McDougle recalled with a laugh. In 1992, when Dr. Mae Jemison prepared to make history as the first Black woman to travel into space, McDougle was right by her side. As a Black woman, McDougle said she shared familiarity with Jemison, even though they hadn’t known each other long. “A little Black girl from Mississippi didn’t even know what she was going to do. She’s writing a children’s book, “Suit Up For Launch with Shay” and frequently gives school talks, hoping her aerospace career will inspire others.