Exclusive: NASA astronaut Mae Jemison stars in Disney+ episode of 'Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur'

Pioneering Black NASA astronaut Mae Jemison will star in a new Disney+ episode of "Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur," Space.com learned exclusively.

Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, will voice an app in an episode of the animated show "Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur" that premieres Saturday (March 18) at 10 a.m. EDT (and also at 10 a.m. PDT) on Disney Channel and now streaming on Disney+. 

The timing of the episode makes a lot of sense, for March is Women's History Month. You can catch an exclusive featurette of the episode above.

"Lunella creates a device that allows her to fast forward through mundane chores and tasks, but she struggles to handle the unexpected side effects," reads an episode description. The app, named Skipster, is voiced by Jemison and aims to help Lunella "fast forward" through "any boring tasks" like waiting in line or folding laundry.

Related: International Women's Day: Female astronauts keep making strides off Earth

Mae Jemison was accepted into NASA's astronaut program in 1987, just nine years after the first African Americans were selected as astronauts. Her previous careers included work with the Peace Corps and serving as a general practitioner of medicine. Jemison flew on STS-47, a space shuttle Spacelab science mission, for eight days in 1992.

After leaving NASA in 1993, Jemison established a company (called the Jemison Group) that aimed to boost student engagement in science and technology. She has appeared on numerous television shows before this one, including an episode of the always diversity-friendly "Star Trek" series "The Next Generation" in 1993.

Related: What 'Star Trek' has taught us about diversity

"Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur" stars Black actress Diamond White as Lunella. White has said she appreciates the showrunners' and scriptwriters' emphasis on diversity. Last month, White told Forbes how excited she was for an episode during which Lunella gets her first hair perm. 

"I have a list of all these things I grew up having or going through as a Black girl [and asked] 'Can we incorporate some of these things?' And they were like, 'Yeah!'" White said in the interview.

NASA astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, voices a fictional app developed by Lunella in a March 2023 episode of Disney Plus' '“Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.' (Image credit: Disney+/Marvel)

NASA counts 73 women astronauts who have flown as of March 2023, but the number increases when considering suborbital journeys. Historically, a part of the gap in gender representation came because NASA and other agencies drew from the military, which favored males almost exclusively in spaceflight's early decades.

Black spaceflight milestones have accelerated in the last few years, including the first Black woman pilot (Sian Proctor), aboard the billionaire-funded Inspiration4 mission in 2021, and the first Black long-duration mission woman astronaut (Jessica Watkins) in 2022, who spent 170 days in space, mostly aboard the International Space Station.

This article was updated at 1:42 p.m. EDT with more viewing details.

Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace