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Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison remembers well the excitement of the first moon landing, 50 years ago — and she just launched an initiative to bring the fun to the next generation.
Jemison, also known for her 1993 appearance on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," has an activity in the Skyfie app called "Look Up Apollo," a successor campaign to one she co-led last year called "Look Up." With this campaign, anybody in the world can upload pictures or other multimedia showing their connection with the lunar anniversary or with the sky in general.
People - Sky - Thousands - Generations - Jemison
People have looked at the sky for thousands of generations, Jemison told Space.com. That heritage is echoed in English expressions such as "things are looking up," which means that our lives are about to improve. And people have experienced that awe at the sky all across the world.
"There's an African proverb — 'No one shows a child the sky.' For me, that means it's a part of us," said Jemison, the first African American woman in space.
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Jemison loved the cosmos long before the moon landing in 1969, when she was 12 years old and excitedly telling any adult who would listen about the Apollo program's engineering.
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She also remembers the years before that, when a moon landing was described as "the very definition of improbable." Adults, she recalled, would say things like, "You may as well be trying to go to the moon." So, when it did become possible to land on the moon, Jemison said, we had to change our definition of ourselves.
"For me," she added, "it was about exploration. I always wanted to explore the world, the ocean, the stars, and so that was a part of it. It was also that we had to do more...
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