Astronomy and Space


Who was the first African American in space?

Guion S. Bluford Jr. (1942–), became the first African American to fly in space during the space shuttle Challenger mission STS–8 (August 30-September 5, 1983). Astronaut Bluford, who holds a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, made a second shuttle flight aboard Challenger mission STS–61-A/Spacelab D1 (October 30-November 6, 1985). The first black man to fly in space was Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo-Mendez, who was aboard Soyuz 38 and spent eight days aboard the Soviet space station Salyut 6 during September 1980. Dr. Mae C. Jemison became the first African American woman in space on September 12, 1992 aboard the space shuttle Endeavour mission Spacelab-J.


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