FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN IN SPACE ~ 1983

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Guion Stewart Bluford Jr., Ph.D.


U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Guion S. Bluford became the first African American to travel into space when the space shuttle Challenger lifts off on
its third mission. It was the first night launch of a space shuttle, and many
people stayed up late to watch the spacecraft roar up from Cape Canaveral,
Florida, at 2:32 a.m.

The Challenger spent six days in space, during which time Bluford and his
four fellow crew members launched a communications satellite for the
government of India, made contact with an errant communications satellite, conducted scientific experiments, and tested the shuttle’s robotic arm. Just
before dawn on September 5, the shuttle landed at Edwards Air Force Base
in
California, bringing an end to the most flawless shuttle mission to that
date.

STS-8 Crew
These five astronauts were the crew members for STS-8, Challenger. Richard M. Truly, center, crew commander. Daniel C. Brandenstein,
left, was the pilot. The mission specialists were Dale A. Gardner,
William E. Thornton (both on back row) and Guion S. Bluford.

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Guion “Buy” Bluford will be 77 on Nov. 22.

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posted by Bob Karm in African American,ANNIVERSARY,Aviator,DEBUT,HISTORY,NASA,SPACE,Space Shuttle and have No Comments

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