Filmmakers Renee Sotile and MJ Godges of Traipsing Thru Films are astronaut aficionados, having fallen in love with the courage and purpose of Space Shuttle Challenger's "Teacher in Space" Christa McAuliffe, about whom they created an amazing documentary.
They were so devoted to telling Christa's inspirational story about reaching for the stars, they received unprecedented cooperation from her mother Grace Corrigan and from NASA. The filmmakers were especially thrilled when Space Shuttle Endeavour came home to Los Angeles recently and was put on display at the California Science Center. During the formal welcoming ceremonies, they spoke with several people, including the sister of the late lesbian astronaut Sally Ride.
They also later interviewed Dr. Mae Jemison, who became the first African American female to fly in space aboard Endeavor in 1992. Jamison's application was already into NASA when Challenger exploded in 1986, killing Christa McAuliffe and six astronauts. But Jemison had a dream and remained undeterred.
LGBT people understand the importance of seeing ourselves accurately portrayed in the media and long for the time when images of full equality are not reserved for science fiction. So we understand the power seeing black actress Nichelle Nichols playing Lt. Uhura in the original Star Trek series (1966-1969) must have had on Jemison. Later, in Star Trek: The Next Generation, LeVar Burton invited the real astronaut to guest star as Lt. Palmer in the episode "Second Chances."