NASA HISTORY: Guy Bluford Was First African American in Space 40 Years Ago, Launched Aboard Challenger from KSC in 1983
By NASA information center // August 31, 2023
Bluford was a member of NASA's 'Thirty-Five New Guys' in 1978
(NASA) – In this image from September 5, 1983, Guion “Guy” Bluford checks out the sample pump on the continuous flow electrophoresis system experiment in the mid-deck of the Earth-orbiting space shuttle Challenger.
Forty years ago today, he launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, becoming the first African American to fly in space.
Bluford was a member of NASA’s “Thirty-Five New Guys” – the 1978 astronaut class, which had the first African American, the first Asian American, and the first woman astronauts.
During the STS-8 mission, the crew deployed the Indian National Satellite INSAT-1B, operated the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System with the Payload Flight Test Article, operated the CFES, conducted medical measurements to understand bio-physiological effects of spaceflight, and activated four “Getaway Special” canisters.
STS-8 completed 98 orbits of the Earth in 145 hours before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on Sept. 5, 1983.
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