Guion S Bluford - Who is he?
Guion S Bluford is an American aerospace engineer. He was a US Air Force Officer and fighter pilot and was the first African American in space. He participated in four Space Shuttle flights between 1983 and 1992.
He graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1964, got his Master degree from the US Air Force Institute of Technilogy in 1974, and received a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from AFIT. In 1966, he got his pilot wings. He flew 144 combat missions in the Vietnam War, 65 of which were over North Vietnam. Over the years, he has over 5,200 hours of jet flight time and he has gotten his FAA commercial pilot license.
Bluford became a NASA astronaut in 1979. His first mission was in 1983 on the Challenger. It had a night launch and a night landing (of which it was the first of its kind). During this mission, they destroyed the Indian National Satellite and completed 98 orbits of Earth in 145 hours.
In 1985, Bluford served on a crew whose mission was to carry the largest crew to fly in space. this was under German direction and completed a number of experiments.
In 1992, Bluford was on a ship that completed a variety of Military-Man-in-Space experiments. It completed 115 orbits of Earth in 175 hours. Bluford has logged of 688 hours in space.
He was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1997 and into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2010.