#MySci411: Philadelphia Native Made Space History 30 Years Ago
A historic space flight taken by a native of Philadelphia, Pa., marks its 30th anniversary in 2013.
Guion Bluford, Ph.D., became the first African-American in space when he served as a mission specialist aboard a space shuttle Challenger that launched on August 30, 1983. Buford also flew on a Challenger flight in Oct. 1985, and missions aboard the orbiter Discovery in 1991 and 1992.
Bluford has been quoted as saying of his historic space flight, “I felt an awesome responsibility, and I took the responsibility very seriously, of being a role model and opening another door to black Americans, but the important thing is not that I am black, but that I did a good job as a scientist and an astronaut.”
Bluford also was a distinguished U.S. Air Force pilot, flying more than 140 combat missions during the Vietnam War and earning several medals. His academic degrees include a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace from the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa.
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