First African American in Space to Be Inducted into Astronaut Hall of Fame

Guion “Guy” Bluford
Guion “Guy” Bluford

(Taylor Media Services) The first African American to fly in space Guion “Guy” Bluford will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame this coming June.

NASA announced his selection last week along with those of astronauts Ken Bowersox, Frank Culbertson and Kathy Thornton. Bluford made his historic space flight in 1983.

However, he was not the first Black person in space. That honor goes to Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo-Mendez. He flew in space aboard a then-Soviet Soyuz 38 on September 18, 1980. Meanwhile, Bluford’s induction will take place on June 5, 2010 at the Kennedy Space Center.

Bluford attended pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, and received his pilot wings in January 1966. He then went to F-4C combat crew training in Arizona and Florida and was assigned to the 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. He flew 144 combat missions, 65 of which were over North Vietnam.

In July 1967, he was assigned to the 3,630th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, as a T-38A instructor pilot. He served as a standardization/ evaluation officer and as an assistant flight commander. In early 1971, he attended Squadron Officers School and returned as an executive support officer to the Deputy Commander of Operations and as School Secretary for the Wing.

Bluford has written and presented several scientific papers in the area of computational fluid dynamics. He has logged over 5,200 hours of jet flight time in the T-33, T-37, T-38, F4C, U-2/TR-1, and F-5A/B, including 1,300 hours as a T-38 instructor pilot.

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