Space

Guion Bluford, Jr.

Guion Bluford Jr

Dr. Bluford’s record of accomplishments includes over 29 years of experience as a senior level business executive, NASA Astronaut, aerospace technical supervisor, aerospace engineer, computational fluid dynamicist, instructor pilot, and tactical fighter pilot.

He is the first African American to fly in space (STS-8, the eighth flight of the Space Shuttle) and the first African American to return to space (STS-61A, the 22nd flight of the Space Shuttle; STS-39; the 40th flight of the Space Shuttle; and STS-53, the 52nd flight of the Space Shuttle).  Continue reading

Fredrick Gregory

The first African-American to pilot a spacecraft.

The first African-American to pilot a spacecraft.

Colonel Frederick D. Gregory was the first African-American to pilot a spacecraft.

Born January 7, 1941, in Washington, D.C. to Francis A. Gregory and Nora Drew Gregory, he graduated from Anacostia High School, in Washington, in 1958 and  entered the United States Air Force Academy where he studied military engineering and received a bachelor of science degree from in 1964.

Since childhood, he had a passion for speed, racing a small aluminum boat in waters off Columbia Beach near Washington, D.C. He says, “I always wanted to fly.”

After graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in 1964, Gregory entered pilot training and attended undergraduate helicopter training at Stead Air Force Base, Nevada. He received his wings in 1965 and was assigned as an H-43 helicopter rescue pilot at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, from October 1965 until May 1966. In June 1966, he was assigned as an H-43 combat rescue pilot at Danang AB, Vietnam. When he returned to the United States in July 1967, he was assigned as a missile support helicopter pilot flying the UH-1F at Whiteman AFB, Missouri.   Continue reading

Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr.

 

Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr.

Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr.

Major Lawrence was born on October 2, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois.  At the age of 16, he was a graduate in the top 10% of Englewood High School.  At the age of 20, he became a graduate of Bradley University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry.  In addition, while a student at Bradley University, he distinguished himself as Cadet Commander of the Bradley Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and, upon graduation, received the commission of Second Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve Program. 

At the age of 21 he had become an Air Force pilot after completing flight training at Malden Air Force Base. 

At the age of 22, he married the former Ms. Barbara Cress, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Henry Cress of Chicago.  As he approached the age of 26, he had completed an Air Force assignment as an instructor pilot in the T-33 training aircraft for members of the German Air Force.  Continue reading

Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison

Born in 1956 in Decatur, Alabama – the youngest of three children- to Charlie and Dorothy Jemison, Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel to space! Her father was a maintenance supervisor for charitable organization and her mother taught English and math. When she was three her family moved to Chicago.

In 1977, at the age of 16, Mae received a National Achievement Scholarship to go to Stanford University in Northern California. There she double majored in chemical engineering and African-American Studies. She went on to medical school at Cornell where she received her MD in 1981. Not one to shy away from challenges, she traveled to Cuba, Kenya and Thailand providing medical care to those in need.  Continue reading

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