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African American Scientists

Guion Bluford (b.1942)

Guion Bluford

Image credit: NASA; retouched by Cofeeandcrumbs [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Born in 1942 in Philadelphia, PA
  • Received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State in 1964
  • Earned his pilot wings at Williams Air Force Base in 1966, and after serving a number of roles with the U.S. Air Force, entered the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology residency school in 1972.
  • Earned a Master of Aerospace Engineering & Doctor of Philosophy U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, furthering his career within the Air Force
  • Chosen to become a NASA astronaut in 1978, Bluford was driven to make a contribution to the program.
  • As an astronaut. Bluford worked with space station operations, Remote Manipulator System, Spacelab systems and experiments, space shuttle systems, payload safety issues and verifying flight software.
  • He was chosen join the Space Shuttle Challenger's STS-8 mission, and became the first African American in space on August 20, 1983.
  • Following his historic flight, Guy Bluford flew on three more missions, logging a total of 688 hours in space in his career.