Black History Fast Facts: Guion Bluford
All month long we’ve celebrated Black History Month! There have been many brave Astronauts have gone to space, but read about the first black Astronaut Guion Bluford to travel to space on the space shuttle Challenger!
Guion Bluford was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1942. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1964 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Upon graduating, Bluford became a pilot in the United States Airforce and served in the Vietnam War. Guion flew in more than 140 combat missions earning him several awards and medals including the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm.
After the war Guion Bluford enrolled in the Air Force Institute of Technology earning a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and his Ph.D in the same subject in 1974. He later joined NASA in 1979 and became a astronaut. On August 30, 1983, Bluford made history becoming the first African American astronaut to launch into space as a on-board mission specialist on the space shuttle Challenger. Bluford later traveled on 3 additional space missions in 1985, 1991, and 1992
He retired in 1993 and was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1997, He currently serves as the president of Aerospace Technology Group.